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Why Your Users Hate You (and why they won’t tell you)

by 26th February, 2017

If you want to understand the kind of impact bad user experience (UX) can have on your users, try a little experience: go to the London Tube, raise the height of a random step by one centimetre with a wooden board, grab your popcorn and wait.

You will see scores of people tripping up on this one particular step, most likely swearing and grumbling. You might even witness a few twisted ankles or bruises. Why? All because of one, little, additional centimetre. The most interesting part comes next. Some might look for a guilty party but the majority won’t even bother. Why? Because they have other things to do; their kids to watch, their train to catch, or simply their life to get on with. They won’t remember it clearly enough to remember it the following day, and after two or three instances of feeling ridiculous in front of commuters, staff members and CCTV, they’ll subconsciously take the other exit. All to avoid those evil stairs.

Final result: 150 falls, a lot of hatred, no complaint, and a loss of users.

The UX dynamics in a digital environment operates exactly the same way. Good UX is silent, as silent as a standardised Tube step. Some details like a piece of micro-copy or the size of the font will have a tremendous impact if you manage to correctly assess the needs of your users and understand their mindset. Ever heard of the company that increased their revenue by $300m thanks to a button? Learn from them.

If you want your app to serve your objectives, you will need to rationalise your users’ irrational reactions, being conscious of their subconsciousness. Don’t wait for customer feedback to look for improvements: Find their dissatisfaction before they even think of it.

Clara Dalbéra

Born in France, educated in Switzerland and now living in London, Clara is passionate about human and digital interactions, she's a tech enthusiast and UX/UI designer. Her all-time heroes are Dieter Rams and Wonder Woman.

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