5 Places Where “Ugly” UIs Provide a Perfect UX




Nowadays, tech-savvy users except beautiful user interfaces and intuitive user experiences across their many devices.

You can almost hear the millennial generation go, “ewe” when they land on a dated website. This sentiment has forced many software products to focus on UX/UI to attract more customers and keep them engaged within their platform.

However, just because the masses prefer a modern user interface doesn’t mean that your application or program needs one. In fact, there are many times when beautiful interfaces can actually increase user abandonment. Not ideal.

Here are some of the common scenarios where transforming your user interface into a futuristic experience can backfire. Spoiler alert: it almost always comes down to your users.

Your Users Lack Computer Literacy

If your users don’t have much experience with computers, mobile devices, or applications, over-designing your interface can become a problem.

Because we’re entrenched in tech, it’s easy to forget that there are millions of people throughout the world that don’t have access to computers or mobile devices. As accessibility evolves and users begin to use more technology, they will gravitate towards programs and applications that are simple to navigate and easy to use.

Folks that may lack computer literacy are seniors, those living in rural areas, those living in developing countries, and kids.

Your Users Lack English Literacy

If your software program appeals to an international audience but your company is creating content in English, your user interface probably needs to be simplistic and visual. Simplistic and visual may end up feeling modern and sleek by default, but lead with your user’s core needs and verify it truly works for them.

Your Users Access Your App in Remote Locations

If your users are accessing your application in the field or a foreign country without infrastructure, they likely have poor bandwidth.

If your application has large digital assets or too many, it may slow it down or cause it to time out. In these instances, it’s not worth adding any non-essential graphics or images.

Another example is forever scroll vs pagination. Forever scroll requires all content to download at once and pagination loads a few assets at a time. Therefore, in low bandwidth situations, pagination is a better choice.

These examples can make your app a little less “pretty,” however, functionality is more important than beauty.

Massive Regulations & Abundance of Information

Some industries have to manage their UX/UI strategy within constraints of government regulations. One of the most obvious industries is the healthcare industry.

The healthcare industry has to consider accessibility and compliance for their user interfaces. For example, allowing sight-impaired users to navigate websites and cloud-based apps.  They also have to consider things like the 2009 HITECH act, often-required fine print, and a desire to be seen as safe and reliable. Combine these requirements with brand guidelines and you’ve suddenly got a lot less creativity to utilize.

Older Demographics

Senior users have been a bit slower to adopt technology compared to younger generations, but this demographic is becoming more enthusiastic about leveraging technology.

That being said, they do have different limitations and preferences and any good UX/UI team should take them into account.

Limitations may include vision or hearing impairment, memory loss, or physical instability. On top of these limitations, their preferences could affect how you design your layouts, buttons, and sign-up forms.

You Can Still Provide a Good UX

Even if you have severe limitations on creating an attractive user interface, you can still create a nice user experience. These two things are not synonymous.

For example, Craigslist. Craigslist has a tried and true UX that is simple and intuitive, but it’s not the most attractive website.

Strategize around your software’s information architecture and how to organize pertinent information. Think about a user’s flow and how they navigate to and from different pages on your website or app. Be consistent with elements, provide a consistent experience across devices, and offer support where you can.

To think through some of your user’s limitations and strategize around their needs, contact the UX/UI team at Devetry!