Warm Gun: UX Antipatterns

by Luke Wroblewski November 22, 2013

In his presentation at the Warm Gun Conference in San Francisco CA, Michael Boeke shared some examples of user experience anti-patterns. Here are my notes from his talk:

  • A design pattern is a solution to a problem in context that can be re-used.
  • An anti-pattern has to appear to be beneficial at first but then creates unintended consequences. It also needs to have a demonstrably better solution that can be used repeatedly.
  • It is common practice to split phone numbers into separate input fields. But users think of phone numbers as a single field. To deal with this, site auto-tab you to the next field, which breaks many people's flow through a form.
  • Instead use a single input field and use an input mask that formats the phone number for you.
  • The door slam: you follow a link and get blocked by a app download banner. This blocks people from getting to know you and just blocks them. Instead, serve up the content they asked for and give them a way to grab an app if they want it.
  • The tease: using an animation to indicate where actions and content are available. Instead use clear signals to trigger the actions people want.
  • Anytime you find yourself offering a hint to users about how to use an interface, that's a moment to stop and change your interface to work the way people expect it to.
  • Off Canvas menu: placing a control to access menus in the upper left. Instead, flip sides and put the control where it is easier to reach fro most people.
  • We're the ones building these experiences. We can take a step back and make all this better for our users.
  • Don't be afraid of patterns but be willing to challenge existing ideas especially in the time of transition we're in now. The playing field is leveled -we have a chance to uncover the next great set of design patterns.