UX Myths

UX Myths collects the most frequent user experience misconceptions and explains why they don’t hold true. And you don’t have to take our word for it, we’ll show you a lot of research findings and articles by design and usability gurus.

Latest articles

Myth #34: Simplicity = minimalism

Simplicity is key to great and innovative product design. But simplicity is way often confused with minimalist style. In fact, simple looking, minimal product UIs often carry hidden complexity. Design decisions aiming for reduction can easily introduce more friction and cognitive load, leading to a more complex user experience. Icons without text labels...

Myth #33: Mobile users are distracted

When thinking of mobile users, many have a stereotypical image of people on the go, people with the attention span of a goat and suffering from Mobile User Attention Deficit Disorder. But are mobile users distracted? Of course they are. But we are just as much distracted when sitting in front of our computers, watching TV or driving a car. Distractions...

Myth #32: Success happens overnight

The Apple iPod instantly turned the MP3 player market upside down, right? Amazon changed the book selling business like a shot, didn’t it? Well, in fact they didn’t. No matter how it may seem from the outside. The fact is that it takes many years to be an overnight success even for internet entrepreneurs. Years of hard work, learning, experimenting,...

Myth #31: UX design is a step in a project

Many think that user experience design is confined to sketching the interfaces. However, UX design is a much broader process that - ideally - starts at the strategy level and affects the whole lifecycle of a project or a business. UX design begins by learning about the business model, doing user research and understanding how a service can fit into...

Myth #30: If you are an expert, you don't need to test your design

When it comes to evaluating the usability of an interface, user testing is often considered unnecessary if an expert has already reviewed it. Since people rarely behave the way you expect, an expert can find major usability problems, but usability tests always reveal surprising issues. Usability testing and expert reviews are both useful and tend...

Myth #29: People are rational

People don’t make purely rational decisions based on careful analysis of cost and expected utility, despite what classical economics taught us. Research findings confirm that our decisions are driven more by our emotions than logical and conscious thinking. However, our irrationality is predictable. Good designers, therefore, can learn about human...

Myth #28: White space is wasted space

White space or “negative space”, referring to the empty space between and around elements of a design or page layout, is often overlooked and neglected. Although many may consider it a waste of valuable screen estate, white space is an essential element in web design and “is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background,” Jan Tschichold...

Myth #27: UX design is about usability

Designing for the user experience has a lot more to it than making a product usable. Usability allows people to easily accomplish their goals. UX design covers more than that, it’s about giving people a delightful and meaningful experience. A good design is pleasurable, thoughtfully crafted, makes you happy, and gets you immersed. Think of games, they...

Myth #26: Usability testing = focus groups

When it comes to collecting feedback from users, usability tests and focus groups are often confused although their goals are completely different. Focus groups assess what users say: a number of people gather in order to discuss their feelings, attitudes and thoughts on a given topic to reveal their motivations and preferences. Usability testing,...

Myth #25: Aesthetics are not important if you have good usability

There are usability practitioners who completely dismiss the importance of aesthetics, often citing unattractive but popular websites such as Craigslist. However, aesthetics do have a function. Attractive things work better. Studies show that emotions play an important role in the users’ experience. If a website has a pleasant visual design, users...

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