This list could be much longer, but I wanted to summarise the most common bad UX practices I usually come across when working with startup clients.
Skipping the wireframes
There’s no such thing as UX for a new product without wireframes and I’m stunned how often people think that jumping to the actual artwork (UI) is better than spending a few days to design comprehensive and so-much-needed wireframes. The wireframes won’t add extra cost to your project, they’ll actually save you time and money throughout the process.
Bringing the UX Specialist after starting with the design
This is still very common as UX is often seen as luxury rather than necessity, but if you’re serious about your product and startup success, I’d advise you to get a UX designer on board as soon as possible. What’s the point of spending time to design something that you’ll want fixed very soon. Involve a UX specialist during the process of creating the product to polish it as much as possible before launch, rather than relying on them to fill in the holes and fix bugs.
Having responsive design is not the answer to your mobile prayers anymore, this is so 2014. Responsive design does the job and fixes many design issues, but it doesn’t necessarily take user intent into consideration. Which is the point of good UX. Most of your traffic will be coming from mobile (especially if you rely on social media referrals in the early stages of your product development), so thinking desktop shouldn’t be on the table. Make sure that your UX specialist, designers and dev team consider mobile users as much as your desktop ones, and if you have to prioritise start with mobile.
Not having enough clarity about the MVP
Starting to design your product without knowing what the actual product will do and deliver is a shocking mistake that so many startup founders make and I can’t get my head around how you can want something designed when you don’t know what that thing is. Building the MVP and then improving the product with some UX help is one thing, but relying on the UX to tell you what the product should do is just a waste of money, especially if the UX specialist is not one of your co-founders.
The sign-up and onboarding process is the most important part of every new web product, so no surprise that there’re a number of studies, experiments etc in this area. It’s a no-brainer that the sign-up process should be short, intuitive and sleek, but achieving this while keeping up with your business objectives is not an easy task. Cluttered, busy on-boarding process is proven to discourage new sign-ups, so no matter how tricky it might be to keep it simple, there’s always a way. Don’t settle for less whatever your sales people tell you. You don’t need this mobile number so early!
Not having UVP at all
Unique value proposition or brand value proposition is this one simple sentence that explains what your product does. It sets up the brand tone and sometimes even defines the whole branding. It’s a marketing thing, but not marketing fluff, so having this clear vision and idea about your product and giving it to your UX and UI designer will be extremely helpful and time-saving for the design process.