Allow me to set a scene for you.
You start dating someone—a gorgeous someone, if you will—and things start to go south real fast.
I should preface: we will not be going in the direction of Say Anything. Nobody will be outside your window with a boombox expressing their love for you. As said in in 500 days of summer, “This is not a love story”.
That said, maybe this someone you’re dating isn’t the best at communicating. He tells you to meet them at their buddy’s house, but stops responding once you ask, “What time?”
Maybe they’re inconsistent. One day they’re responsive and giving you flowers; the next, they’re shut down and straight up ghosting you.
Moral of the story: if they did this to you, you wouldn’t stay and waste your time. You simply don’t have the patience and energy to deal with that type of behavior, and guess what? Neither do your users.
A website with good UX is much like a healthy relationship. It's communicative, responsive, consistent; it’s Edward and Bella, Noah and Allie, Ross and Rachel… you get the point. To save your users from a toxic UX relationship, here are some helpful tips you can put in place to avoid the catastrophic bad boyfriend-like website.
1. Do your research.
You agree to go on a date with someone from Hinge. What’s the first thing you do? If you don’t say, “look up their socials,” you’re wrong. Do. Your. Research.
Same goes for your users. In order to make sure your site is meeting your users’ expectations, you need to find out what’s important to them and discover what similar sites they are using. How can you find an opportunity to enhance their experience with your website? The more you know about your users, the more you're able to empathize with their needs.
2. Be consistent with industry standards.
This is one of Nielsen Norman Group's 10 UX best practices. Rightfully so. It states: “Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform and industry conventions.”
Take notes people.
I should not have to wonder if “maybe” means “yes”. To take it one step further, according to Jakob’s Law, users are spending most of their time on other sites than yours. They are setting their own expectations based on common patterns that they’re interacting with on a daily basis. In order to successfully meet your users’ expectations, it’s important to be aware of those patterns when designing your website.
3. Be consistent with brand content.
Don’t let your site waver from your brand. It’s easy to get lost in the design process or emulate your inspiration a little too much. Kind of like when you watch too many episodes of Love Island, start speaking in a British accent and tell your Hinge date they’re “propa’ fit” and that you “don’t want to ge’ mugged off”.
The point is: when you start to drift from your personal brand, it's obvious and often looks fake or disingenuous. That same concept applies to your website. When your content is not true to your core brand, your website can feel disconnected and result in a hindered user experience.
4. Test your product.
If I married my ex without dating them first… Let’s just say I’d have a better shot at love on an episode of 90 Day Fiancé.
So test the waters with your website. Is it marriage material? In order to make sure it’s a fit for your users, you need to test it in the real world: run some user tests with prototypes, observe what’s working (and what isn’t), then continue to iterate and improve your website as needed.
5. Adapt your designs for short attention spans.
Fun fact: Humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish. Shocking right? I thought so too, until I remembered all the zoning out I was capable of when my ex would talk.
Just like a good significant other, your website needs to provide the necessary information to its users quickly and efficiently. If they’re roaming around your site aimlessly looking for something specific, they could end up leaving in 15 seconds or less—and that’s WAY longer than one of Kyle’s aimless-ass stories.
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We understand the dating scene can be scary, but we’re quite good at matchmaking a brand with its customers. Hit us up, we’ll get you back in the game.