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The Seven Deadly Sins of a UX Developer

UX developers can be found across many different industries and will usually take on different roles and responsibilities within different projects.

However, no matter what the industry may be, there are quite a few common mistakes that they seem to make.

If you're a UX developer looking to improve their technical skill or a business owner looking to hire a UX developer or UX designer, knowing the major faux pas can help you grow and be informed of what a quality, talented UX developer does.

Check out our list of seven major mistakes and how to avoid them! But first, let's brush up on what exactly a UX developer does.

What Does A UX Developer Do?

The UX developer takes on a wide range of responsibilities when it comes to a project's user experience and usability.

A UX developer is not the same as a UX designer, although they may take on some responsibilities of a UX designer. They will focus on the function and little details of how consumers will use an application or website and work to maximize the ease of use.

The UX developer learns how to interact with the application's interface as would the consumer or user, and work out the kinks to maximize the ease of use of the product. They will usually create the visual compositions and front coding, and work on the completed final quality product.

UX developers are often underrated. The usability of a project is incredibly important when it comes creating a successful application, and failure to focus on usability could mean the downfall of a project.

Seven Big Faux Pas That UX Developers Do (And How To Avoid Them)

Even the best and brightest have probably made one of these major mistakes at some point in their career.

7. Ignoring the details and letting the user deal with it.

The UX developer's main priority is the user. They will ask themselves questions like "Does this actually make things easier for the user?" or "If I were using this product, would I feel comfortable with it?"

Focusing on usability can actual be quite the difficult task. There are so many little details to how software is created and so many areas where it can go wrong for the user.

One of the biggest mistakes a UX developer can make is to ignore some of these small details in favor of getting a project done quickly. This essentially betrays the whole point of the developer's work-- to nitpick everything and make the user experience as close to perfect as possible.

Not figuring out how to make things like CAPTCHA or bad performance details easier to navigate is essentially putting that responsibility on the user when it should be on the developer, if not the whole team behind the project.

How to avoid this deadly developer sin:

Many new freelance developers without experience tend to make this mistake. Be vigilant and maintain your eye for detail if you are a UX developer. Analyze test subjects to see where user behavior tends to lose interest or slow down to see just how much skipping the little details costs a project.

6. Plagiarism

Plagiarism, copying, ripping-off-- whatever you call it, it isn't cool to do in any industry or profession. Not only could you be slapped with legal trouble, but it can also affect the integrity of your portfolio as a professional designer.

While there isn't anything wrong with being inspired by the big successful designers and developers, there is something wrong with ripping them off.

In the ever-changing world of apps, tech, and software, users want the newest customized experience. What they don't want is the same old thing they've seen before.

How to avoid this deadly developer sin:

Don't rip off a website-- it's really as simple as that. If you're developing an online clothing commerce store and find yourself looking at a cheap knockoff of H&M, then you'll need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What can I add to this that is useful that I've never seen before?
  • What do shoppers want from an online clothing store that rarely gets delivered?
  • How can I design this in an easy-to-use, aesthetically pleasing way without ripping off a major company?

This may take time if you're a newbie developer, as navigating aesthetics can be difficult.

5. Focusing too much on the imagery

This is easy to fall into-- after all, isn't a big part of user experience the visual look of an app or website?

Wanting to design a website well is important, but obsessing too much over the look (and ripping off other beautifully-designed projects) can actually hamper the user experience.

What's the point of a pretty thing if it doesn't navigate well?

How to avoid this deadly developer sin:

Like many of these mistakes, student developers and inexperienced developers tend to fall victim to envy and rip off other aspects of well-designed projects.

Avoid this sin by not starting with the visual aesthetics of a project. Start out by working out the accessibility and user-friendly kinks.

Solidify, test, and revamp aspects of the user experience within a project, and then start working on visuals.

Be original, think about what you haven't seen yet, and be mindful when things start to look like a cheap Apple ripoff.

4. Being dishonest and tricky with users

Tricking users into doing something may seem appetizing if you operate and develop an online business.

What if you can get more sales, more conversions, more leads, more email sign ups through trickery? What's wrong with that? It's just business.

The problem with this is that it doesn't really result in more sales, and it can actually hamper the user experience to the point that they move on to the next store and abandon their cart.

There are many ways that a developer can be less that honest with the interface they design:

  • Automatically adding items to users' carts
  • Constantly interrupting the shopping experience with intrusive CTAs (Call To Action)
  • Hiding parts of the store and only allowing access after an email signup

This is more likely to annoy users than get your business another sale.

How to avoid this deadly developer sin:

Always test your project at various stages of completion. You'll never really grasp how annoyed or satisfied your customers are with your website unless you test it out.

This way, you won't have to find out far too late how poor the user experience really was for your e-commerce site.

3. Grasping for valuable data

Information and data are important parts of business. Sure, you want to make sales and get the cash-- but you can't really market to your target audience or tailor an experience properly for returning customers without knowing a lot about them.

From their gender to their financial standing to what their behaviors are, information like this can help a business grow beyond a tiny online store.

However, being a data hog is definitely a thing. Being manipulative in order to get email leads, obstructing the view of a user's shopping experience with a "SIGN UP NOW!" popup, and required social media signups are all things that might get you information and data-- but they can also drive away business.

How to avoid this deadly developer sin:

Don't be a data hog. Be mindful about how obstructive or irritating requests for data can be an minimize them.

Add incentive as well. You aren't entitled to your customers' information, and you'll need to offer them something in exchange.

Offer a coupon code in exchange for an email signup and keep those popups to a minimum. As with the first sin, always test with users before finishing up the project and going live.

2. Good ol' developer arrogance

Let's be honest-- developers do a lot. An experienced developer knows the ins and outs of developing a quality, user-friendly site.

However, getting cocky can be a major downfall. Assuming that you have all the answers when it comes to the user experience of a new project can be a damaging thing-- the user ultimately knows what's right for them, and your team of marketing professionals and other developers know as well.

How to avoid this deadly developer sin:

Don't start ignoring users or opting out of user testing because you think you have it all together. Part of being a developer is growing and learning, and the best way to have a successful project outcome is to be humble and attentive.

1. Screwing up so bad that customers come after you with fire and pitchforks

If you've tricked your users into purchasing things they don't want or committed any other sins we covered, you'll probably see the anger of your users after the sale has been completed through email complaints, online reviews, etc.

How to avoid this deadly developer sin:

If you've messed up to the point that you're feeling the blows of your angry customers now, don't completely lose your cool and become a barista full time.

Being a good developer means learning from your mistakes and getting better. Invest and push user testing, research, and other methods to properly test with real human begins to properly evaluate your work as a UX developer.

How was our guide to the seven deadly sins of a UX developer? Tell us what you think, along with your own experience with this big mistakes, in the comments section below!

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