UX mistakes NOT to make for your web store
Not every company has an UX designer for their website. Some cannot afford one, others do not see the added benefit and some might not even know there is such a thing as UX specialists.
This does not necessarily mean their website is bad. A simple website can still be intuitive for users to use. However, if you have a web store where your main goal is to persuade visitors to buy your products, UX is an important factor in doing so.
Finding information online about UX can be overwhelming if you are not in the business. There are so many things to take into account; fonts, colors, the balance between images and text, animations etc. You name it, and someone has written an article about how to improve it to benefit your users.
A lot of these articles focus on what you must do, instead of on what you must not do. However, for someone with no real knowledge of UX, it can be easier to know what mistakes not to make instead of very specific decisions they should make.
So I made a small list of UX mistakes you should not make for your web store.
1: Do not hide the fact an item is sold out on the product overview page.
If you sell shoes, people are probably browsing your site in search for shoes. They look at the product overview page to spot something that they like. Not being able to filter out which ones they can actually buy can be frustrating. They might find the perfect pair only to be disappointed when it is not available. Have this happen two or three times in a row and they might close their browser or visit another one of the thousands of sites that sell shoes. Being able to filter out shoes that are out of stock, or even lowering the opacity of the images in the overview page shows the user what is available in a clear manner.
Related to that, it can be helpful if they can filter out shoes that do not come in their size.
Online shopping should make things easier and faster for consumers, so filtering out the items that are not relevant to them is a simple way to make online shopping easy and fast. Which leads us to the next point;
2: Do not have unclear or ambiguous filters.
People may be looking for a specific item on your site. Being able to filter is a great way to quickly find what you are looking for. However, sometimes filters can be unclear. For example, when looking for a specific blue and gray vest, should the user select “blue” or “gray” in the color filter? Both might give the desired result, but that also means that someone looking for an all blue vest also sees the results that are only partially blue when using the “blue” filter option.
This does not mean you need a filter option for every color combination possible, but be clear to your user what a certain filter includes. This makes it quick for your buyers to find the specific product they are looking for.
3: Do not overflow your user with information.
If you sell something that you are passionate about, you might want to provide your buyers with all the information you know about it. This can, however, be a bit overwhelming for them. Make it easy to find certain specifications, but do not throw them in the user’s face.
Best is to make a clear list of specifications, and if there are a lot divide them into categories.
It is useful to have a description of the product, but be concise. People want to skim a page and learn about the product.
Using icons, images and videos is also a great way of providing information to potential buyers.
4: Do not remove negative reviews on items you sell.
Your first reaction to a negative review on one of your items might be to remove it. You do not want people to think you sell crappy stuff, right? Negative reviews can be beneficial for you as well as your potential buyers. Negative reviews can help you trim out products that do not live up to your standards as a seller, especially if they contain specific information on why a product is perceived as “bad”.
Also, a negative review on a cheap product might persuade a person to buy a more expensive item. Furthermore, if people are looking to buy something expensive, they want to know the positive and the negative about the product.
There will always be people that do not like a product or have unrealistic expectations that will never be met. Only showing positive reviews will make people skeptic on the credibility of the reviews.
5: Do not hide the price in the product overview page.
Unless your main clientele is the extremely rich that do not care about prices, people want to know what your products cost.
People might have a budget, and being able to filter out what is in their budget makes the whole shopping experience better.
It also makes it easier to compare similar products. People might even get persuaded to buy something they see because it is cheaper than they expected it to be.
Linked to this is that is is very bad practice to hide certain charges. We all know how tickets to concerts and festivals usually are a lot more expensive than advertised because of hidden charges, for strange things such as the luxury of having to print your own ticket. Don’t be like that. Be clear and upfront about what people have to pay for a product, and they will happily pay if they think it is a fair price.
Off course it is always best to leave UX to the specialists, but when totally clueless on how to make your own website, look around for a bit on how other web stores work, and try not to make the mistakes mentioned above.