5 UX phrases that sound alarm bells

  1. This is an old favourite “To proceed, simply press the button to your left”. The phrase annoys me, managing to be condescending in a single word. As well as talking down to your audience it’s also a concrete admission of failure. If the next step in your users journey isn’t so obvious that it has sunk into the users brain the second the page appears then you should return to the drawing board.
  2. "Once you've filled in your details just go ahead and press continue". You fail at obvious next steps. Also an annoying Americanism used by Americans who haven't thought about the rest of the world whilst writing their content.
  3. "click here to continue" an oldie bit a goody I suppose. Your links should make sense out of context. That means, if everything else was taken off the page, the link still makes sense. This leads to verbose arrangements so think long and hard on your interface copy.
  4. But that bit is really cool” or some such riff when discussing a design element. Sounds far too much like you have picked your pet feature and stopped being objective about it. Noticing this, and acting upon it (by ditching the element) will help the design.
  5. The user won’t do that” - Are you sure? Did you test them? I’ve never, ever, failed to be genuinely surprised by something a user has done during a testing session. You are not omnipotent, you cannot see the future, we spend all day studying users and yet we can’t predict what they will do to our interface that only has 5 thing in it. Test. Then tell me that 95% of users won;t do that but we need to deal with the 5% who do.

Any more?