The internet is a vast space that offers a wide range of opportunities and information to users. However, a user interface is the primary means through which users interact with websites. The user interface design of a website is critical in determining the ease with which users can access and navigate the site. A poorly designed user interface can lead to user frustration, reduced engagement, and negative experiences. Therefore, it is essential to identify and address the most common user interface problems on websites. This essay will examine the literature to identify the most common user interface problems on websites and their impact on user experience.
1. Usability Evaluation of Web Mapping Sites
The first study by Nivala, Brewster, and Sarjakoski (2007) examined the usability of four popular web map sites. The authors used expert evaluations and usability tests to evaluate the sites. The study found that the most common usability problems were related to the user interface, maps, and direction, address, and place searches of the map sites. The authors reported that the maps were sometimes too small, making it difficult for users to see the details of the map. The user interfaces were also found to be complicated, with users often unable to find the features they were looking for. These problems significantly impacted user experience, making it harder for users to use the sites efficiently.
2. Common Usability Problems on Educational Websites
Hasan and Abuelrub (2022) conducted a study on the usability of educational websites. They used heuristic evaluations to test the usability of three large public university websites in Jordan. The authors identified a list of 34 specific types of usability problems, which could be found on a Jordanian university website. The most common usability problems were related to the user interface, navigation, and information architecture of the sites. The authors found that users often struggled to navigate the sites, as they could not find the information they needed quickly. The authors recommended that universities invest in improving their websites to provide better user experiences to their users.
3. A comparison of usability problems found by users and experts on highly interactive websites.
Petrie and Power (2012) investigated the usability problems found in the evaluation of six highly interactive websites by 30 users in a task-based evaluation and 14 experts using three different expert evaluation methods. The authors found that four major categories of usability problems emerged: Physical presentation, Content, Information Architecture, and Interactivity. The authors found that users and experts both identified usability problems related to the user interface design. The study showed that users were more likely to identify usability problems related to interactivity, while experts were more likely to identify problems related to physical presentation and information architecture. The authors concluded that both users and experts can identify usability problems, and therefore a combination of user testing and expert evaluation should be used to improve the usability of websites.
In conclusion, this essay has examined the literature to identify the most common user interface problems on websites and their impact on user experience. The studies reviewed showed that the most common usability problems were related to user interface design, navigation, and information architecture. The studies also found that user experience was negatively impacted by these usability problems, making it difficult for users to use the sites efficiently. It is essential for website designers to pay close attention to these usability problems to improve the user experience of their sites. By addressing these usability problems, designers can create websites that are user-friendly, easy to navigate, and provide users with the information they need quickly and efficiently.
- Nivala, A., Brewster, S.A., & Sarjakoski, T. (2007). Usability Problems of Web Map Sites.
- Hasan, L., & Abuelrub, E. (2022). Common Usability Problems on Educational Websites. International Journal of Communications.
- Petrie, H., & Power, C. (2012). What do users really care about?: a comparison of usability problems found by users and experts on highly interactive websites. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.