UIUX Sins - The Forgetful Idiot App
I like to think of apps as people you have just met. To me, the best kind of user experience is a lot like meeting the concierge at the Cosmopolitan in Vegas. Someone who makes you feel like they are entirely focused on you and your needs. Their goal is to provide valuable help in a smooth, nimble manner.
Compare this to the worst kind of person. One that wastes your time, forgets what you say, and is even offensive. This leads me to one of the worst UIUX sins: Asking your user anything more than once. Any info the user provides about themselves should always be saved and not asked again. The only exception to this rule is sensitive information the user might not want saved like a credit card. In that unique case, I suggest asking the user if it’s OK to save to instill a better sense of security and trust.
When an app asks a user to repeat themselves, it instills the sense of a forgetful idiot. Someone too dumb to remember; daydreaming when they should’ve been listening.
This sin is often seen when an app asks for login credentials. Often, the user is asked to provide their password twice which can instill the message of “we are too dumb to get it the first time” or worst still, “we think you are too dumb to get it right the first time.” The logic behind this sloppy UX is that the user might have had a typo the first time and this ensures greater security. If you have an app like a banking website and feel there’s value in this approach, let me suggest an alternative: Show the user what they typed and ask if it’s correct. Now, your user can still validate by pressing one button instead of retyping the whole thing. I mentioned in another blog that passwords are the worst user experience I consistently see today, and that hasn’t changed. Most users have the same password or passwords they recycle throughout apps and already are sick of typing it. To ask them to type it in twice can easily incite frustration. This is especially true with mobile users. They have virtually no patience and often are annoyed if they are asked to type anything, especially twice.
Another example is when an app asks “Are you sure?” For example, “Are you sure you want to close without saving?” Depending on your user base and the function, this approach can have merit, but always allow the user to turn off these kind of messages. Power users typically hate this, especially in apps they spend a lot of time in. Personally, I often endure this when relying on Adobe Suite. Many commands get a window asking if I’m sure. As such, I rely on muscle memory to press the Y for the yes button after completing a command with the thought of “Yes, I’m sure, please just shut up and do it.”
Just ask one time and remember. Don’t second guess your users. Sounds simple but so many apps struggle with this basic concept.