Remember the music site turntable.fm? The project is simple: you enter a virtual “room” where you exchange your compositions and mixes with friends and strangers.
The proxy server instantly connected users, despite their geographical and cultural differences. As with any project that quickly became popular, turntable.fm relied on social listening – the opinion of consumers. I remember I was totally excited about its launch – and I’m not the only one.
However, the more I used turntable.fm, the more I felt like a total loser. When I joined this community, I was most interested in discovering new music rather than becoming a star among virtual DJs.
But the platform did not encourage active listeners. I didn’t get any prizes for thoughtfully taking part in the discussions, and my avatar stayed just as pale and unremarkable, while other participants collected badges and received cool animal costumes. I just gave up and walked out of that net.
This was because of the bad design of the user experience for ordinary users. No one likes to take part in a competition that they will never win.
Products and platforms that don’t think about their ordinary users often turn into ghost towns inhabited by ambitious “leaders”, calling in vain into emptiness in search of interested curious listeners. Unfortunately, in a world obsessed with indicators and status markers, such things happen everywhere. But anyway, you need to think about graphics in design and learn how to use iphone mockup for example.
Patterns of bad UX design for ordinary users
Below are a few signs that may show that you do not care enough about the experience of ordinary users.
Availability of a standings table or scoring system
In the short term, people can get involved in the product in the hope of abstract awards like “points” or “coins”. But what happens to those who are at the bottom of the table and don’t get any real enjoy the time he’s invested in earning all these shiny trinkets?
It is unpleasant to feel that the reward for which you have fought for so long has no value. This kind of gamification seems very attractive to those who want to get quick results, but it doesn’t work in the long run. It’s one pattern of bad user experience design for ordinary users.
The visual division into winners and all others
The purpose of the verification system on Twitter was to check whether people were who they claimed to be. But over time, instead of building trust between users, it evolved into a kind of “badge of honor” that drew a line between those who have it and those who don’t.
Later, the network administration corrected this mistake by conducting mass inspections of journalists and making it clear to everyone that such badges are assigned not only to celebrities.
The focus on popularity metrics
Perhaps this is the most common mistake when designing the user experience. How do you decide which content to put ahead of others? Probably the most popular, isn’t it? Which users do you find the most “interesting”? Aren’t those who have the most subscribers?
In the economy, this is what they say: “rich people get rich”. By creating reward systems on your platforms that encourage those who are already successful, you are creating an unreachable elite that will fight hard to maintain its status quo, even if it is against the interests of the platform itself.