5 Common User Experience Errors That Reduce Sales

We have all had terrible customer experiences, from missed deliveries and broken items, to bad service and poor customer support. These are big issues that companies should fix, and fast – if they’ve got the good sense to realise the long-term effects.

Focusing on the end-to-end user experience and raising your game shows your customers that you really care about providing them with a good user experience. It’s not just a line on your website - your business should be genuinely interested in receiving customer feedback, good or bad.

In the digital space customer experience is critical - small inconveniences like a button that is too small or font that is not legible can kill conversions, prevent sign-ups, lower sales and reduce trust in your business. After all, it's hard to sell to someone if they question your ability to deliver and trust in your service or products is questioned.

So, what are the most common user experience errors and how do you avoid them? Below we cover 5 of the mistakes we see most in businesses. If you recognize any of these then take advantage of our offer at the end of this article.

1) The "La-la-la, not listening" error

Failing to have simple channels for customer feedback or refusing to listen to or respond to them in a reasonable timeframe, is a common and easily avoidable error.

Fully understanding your customer's needs and concerns is key to creating truly worthwhile customer experiences. Never underestimate the value of customer opinions and always make sure to validate feedback of any kind.

Start a positive feedback loop with your customers and really listen to their suggestions – you never know what ideas could surface.

2) The "HIPPO" error

The HIPPO is the "Highest Paid Person's Opinion" and in many organisations the HIPPO dictates exactly what happens. We usually see this when those ‘high-up’ make generalised assumptions about their users’ needs and subsequently start a project without any real insights.

A lot of the time, this results in the construction of something that cannot fulfill customer needs, or even worse, drives them towards your competitors.

To truly excel you must allow the customer to tell you what THEY want, not just what your business thinks is best.

3) The "It's always done this way" error

During the pandemic, some businesses were able to update their user interface, provide better technical support and improve their servers. The ones that listened to the changing needs of their customers were the ones who survived or even thrived.

Adapting to survive has always been evident in the business world, for example Kodak was almost wiped out by mobile phones and Blackberry failed to embrace touch screen technology and is now a very minor name in the mobile space.

You cannot generate all the good ideas independently of the customers, so check in with them frequently. Both qualitative and quantitative research is beneficial for long term success.

4) The "We don't need data!" error

Developing your digital products without referring to your data is like driving with your eyes closed, something is going to go wrong.

Your data is a gold mine. Make sure you become familiar with the key metrics but also delve deeper and ask your customers questions to get a clear idea of their intent and motivations.

Ignoring the outcome of any initial research because you disagree with it can derail a project because of the simple fact that you’re not creating an informed end product.

When was the last time you used your own app, website or ecommerce shop end to end? Try it - it could help you better understand the feedback your customers are giving you.

5) The "Not walking a mile in the user's shoes" error

Testing your own website or app is a great start but it is also important to recognise that not all your users will be experiencing it in the same way. Usability issues can arise for many reasons for example:

  • Perhaps your users are parents of young children and need to be able to easily find information without endlessly scrolling.
  • Maybe your app users are a remote team of people with little access to WIFI or have unreliable 4G.
  • Perhaps the buttons on your website are too small on mobile devices and aren't designed for left-handed users.

Even if all the info is there and the support it offers is genuinely helpful, if the user is having a hard time accessing it, that is a poor user experience.

Try to get as much context around why and where users are using the app or website and design for them.


Having worked with utilities companies to understand workforce needs, we found fulfilling those needs is far more successful when you talk, observe and listen from the front line. For example, without doing our own research for an app for roadwork attendees, we may never have known that parked cars are a real disruption to getting a job done. This was clearly a regular issue and one that we needed to address in order to provide the best solution for our future users. We created a process that ensured cars were out of the way in time for the workforce to arrive and get the job done efficiently and effectively.

It is VITAL you engage your users, customers or staff in the process and get a complete understanding of how, where and why your users interact with your digital assets.

Are you unsure of where to start? If so, Get in touch!

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