Respectful UX

Something that isn’t often discussed in conversations about UX is an implied respect for the user.

Do you ever land on a web page that contains information you need, only to leave out of frustration with the experience?

Maybe the ads were overwhelming. Maybe they shoved a bunch of opt-in offers down your throat. Maybe the author rambled for ten paragraphs instead of getting to the damn point.

All of these things show a lack of respect for the user. It’s a way of saying, Our performance metrics are more important to us than you or your time.

It’s okay to have ads. It’s okay to sell stuff. But when those things compromise the user experience, they also compromise your brand image and longevity.

Here are some ideas to provide a more respectful user experience:

  • Keep advertising tasteful and minimal.
  • Don’t autoplay audio or video—especially in third-party ads.
  • Cool it with the aggressive popups. If you’re going to use popups, time them in such a way that they don’t interrupt me while I’m consuming your content. Exit-intent popups are fine.
  • I don’t want your stupid push notifications. The only scenario where these prompts are okay is if I explicitly ask you to send me notifications. Here’s an easy fix: add a “Get Notifications” button to your site to trigger the request. Those who actually want them will click.
  • Don’t divide your content into pages just to increase page views and ad impressions. You’re wasting my life just to make a few extra pennies.
  • Don’t ramble for multiple paragraphs just to inflate your word count or keyword density. It’s okay to provide background, but please get to the point and solve the reader’s problem ASAP.
  • Keep your promises. Don’t lure people in with clickbait titles and then underdeliver with shitty content.
  • Give your users more than one way to contact you. A contact form can be convenient, but you should also have an email address and maybe even a phone number.

Every great relationship is built on a foundation of respect.

Do you respect your users?