When UX Goes Bad (and How to Fix It)

Designing for user experiences is what every designer does. UX is often thought of as the preservation of apps or web designers; but, even a print designer who sets up a magazine, expects the reader’s response to the scale of the type, the layout of the advertisements, and the direction of the art in follow – up stories.

Because designers design all user experiences, the role of UX Designer is a person focused on creating a product or service using research and testing to guide decision – making.

To research and test anything, you will need metrics: baseline and goal to measure. One set of metrics is not suitable for every project, but because UX is usually for financial profit, the Pirate Metrics Framework is a good starting point – Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Transmission, Revenue -.

You may look for very different metrics in some cases. For example, a museum may measure the success of its education programs based on the number of students who go on to study palaeontology. However, these types of metrics are extremely difficult to quantify. With the exception of a few niche scenarios, a successful UX increases user productivity, reduces errors, reduces support cost, and increases sales.

So if it’s so easy to count a dollar, why does UX go bad?

UX Design Principles vs

To understand what UX is, you need to understand what UX is not.

One of the simplest design principles to understand is the hierarchy: more is more important, ie, a heading is visually stronger than a subheading, a subheading is stronger visually than the body text.

Design principles stem from one thing: human-centered design. At the most basic level, more is more important because the more your tooth tiger is seen, the more likely it is to intend to eat me.

The evolution of mankind is so slow that it was a smartphone at the time, that a neanderthal would be able to tap a button with the same level of accuracy as me. A prehistoric man shares the same minimum button as a modern man: 48 x 48px. Design principles do not change, do not require research, and do not need to be verified by tests.

On the other hand, a neanderthal would not understand a smartphone, let alone an app. You only need to step back in one generation to find smart people with a commonly used design pattern.

Contrary to design principles, the user experience is a house built on sand. As the sand moves, the walls crack. The bricks are still solid, but the rain is coming in.

Because UX is temporarily effective, so is ROI.

UX Technology breaks

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. As technology evolves, the user experience defined by that technology changes.

The classic example is the mobile revolution, but technology change does not necessarily mean hardware. One of the most significant changes in UXD (User Experience Design) in my career was the popularity of AJAX – the process of using JavaScript to load new data without refreshing the page. This seamlessness has been around since the early 2000s, but only in the last decade, because the code to achieve it is simplified, it is widely used.

Jakob’s Law states that users spend most of their time on other sites and, as a result, your site prefers to function similarly to other sites by following familiar design patterns.

Even if your UX is rigorously tested and optimized, when other sites and services do their own research, they are testing in the context of younger technology, and the “other sites” that Jakob Nielsen refers to to start changing . As a result, the UX of your site is gradually eroded.

The result of constant technological change is that user research is always invalid. UX of an app, site or service starts degrading as soon as it is created.

User Experience Lifecycle

Humanity has two deep motivations: survival and procreation. Most importantly, durability, reliance on discovery – new food sources, new routes through dangerous territory, new ways to skin a mammoth. We are biologically programmed to look for the new one.

A typical user goes through three stages of a relationship with a site, app or service: discovery> comfort> boredom. Smearing, or falling out, usually occurs in the discovery phase (if the comfort phase is too slow in development) or in the boredom phase. The sweet spot is the comfort step. That’s the part of the business – customer relationship where the customer needs minimal support and is less likely to break down.

The most efficient UX form – which satisfies most metrics – moves a user quickly from discovery to comfort and then facilitates the user continuously back to the beginning of the comfort phase without switching back to discovery.

This can be achieved with many micro-discoveries, small pieces of new experience, from simple functionality changes to style revisions.


All UXDs, regardless of quality, level of investment, and skill of the practitioner, begin to degrade at the moment of creation.

Design principles such as simplicity are good indicators of a successful User ID (User Interface Design) and are infinite; systems offer comprehensive design, brand assets, and good ROI content.

The most efficient UX is generally known and is constantly refreshed in small ways, allowing users to enjoy the comfort of the familiar while at the same time experiencing the excitement of repeated discoveries .

The featured image uses photos by Wolfgang Hasselmann & Shainee Fernando.

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