5 UX Design Principles That Never Go Out of Style

Megan Wilson
Dec 6, 2017 · 4 min read

The internet is the modern wild west. With a low barrier to entry and little restrictions, anyone can set up shop and mine for gold — from Zuckerberg to Susan, your neighbor who sells cat-shaped oven mitts on her e-commerce store.

For this reason, the websites, platforms and systems we use online all have a distinctly different look and feel. The freedom of the digital world is what makes the work of a UX designer both exciting and challenging. There is so much room for innovation. Yet, at the same time, the designer must stay focused on maintaining usability for the end-user.

People are creatures of habit. If every website features their scroll bar on the right side of the page, changing it could result in mass confusion — even if the change is objectively “more efficient.” A UX designer must always consider not just what the user wants, but also what they know and expect.

There is a fine line between improving the design and confusing the user.

The best designers understand that there must be a balance between standardization and innovation. Keeping that in mind, here is how to design a product with GREAT UX:

1. Give Trends Time to Prove Their Worth

Using design trends is a way for designers to capitalize on what users already know. However, not all UX trends are created equal. Just because everyone’s doing it, doesn’t mean you should.

Don’t copy bad design just because it has become standard across the web.

2. Remember the Fundamental UX Principles

Human psychology is the basis for many of UX’s basic assumptions — after all, we are designing for people. Taking the time to understand and reflect on how the user thinks and acts will help guide powerful design.

3. Emphasize Onboarding and Guidance

Keep this in mind when you opt for a less familiar format.

4. Apply Insights from Advanced Analytics

With so many analytic platforms and even more metrics — ensure you are getting valuable insights by focusing on how rather than who. Heat maps, visual analytics and session recorders give you access to view the user’s actions down to the last click and scroll. Build great UX by paying attention to patterns and intercepting problem areas.

Pinpointing where your user got lost, became frustrated or gave up gives you a huge advantage implementing a solution.

5. Test Usability with Real Users

Whether you are improving upon tried and true design standards or creating something entirely new — the way humans interact with your product might surprise you. Come with an open mind, and remember there is always room for growth.


Originally published at blog.walkme.com on December 6, 2017.

Digital Adoption 101

Exploring topics of interest for organizations undergoing…

Megan Wilson

Written by

UX enthusiast who loves to share and discover innovative design content. Lead UXer at @WalkMeInc!

Digital Adoption 101

Exploring topics of interest for organizations undergoing digital adoption, such as: digital transformation, training and onboarding, user experience, and the customer experience.

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