5 User Interface Design Features That Need To Stop

When designing a user interface, it is important to create a good end user experience. In fact, some features that are popular can be a real annoyance to your visitors. In this article, we will cover 5 user interface design features that are commonly seen online that provide a horrible user experience.


As the internet has increased in popularity, so has spam. However, spam is more of a technical problem rather than a human problem. All of this can be stopped on a technical level. Making the user pay by having to fill in forms with ambiguous letters makes interaction with your website a chore. Spam is easy to catch in many cases because spambots share a similar design and have predictable behavior. For example, when fighting spam and deciding on your user interface design, the following questions will help you identify the real users on your site:

1. How long did it take to fill in the form? If it was a matter of seconds, it’s probably a spambot.
2. Was Javascript used to submit the form? If so, it’s probably a spambot.
3. Were all fields filled with URLs? If so, it’s probably a spambot.
4. Was data entered into a non visible text field to the user? Then it’s probably a spambot.
5. Is the same IP address making repeated visits for just a few seconds on your website?

The answers to these questions can help fight spam on your site and take the load off of your end user. Alternatively, consider utilizing a human oriented question that is specific to your audience. For example, if you’re within the the design space, a question such as “mixing yellow and blue together produces what colour?”. This gives users a positive emotion by utilizing their smartness. They are treated better than being asked to input gibberish.

Either way. Lets stop CAPTCHA now. Your users will thank you for it!

2. Reset Buttons

This applies to forms and anywhere that text can be entered on a page. Having this "feature" coded too close to the submit button is a recipe for disaster for many websites. This is especially true if you are using your website to build a following. How many scenarios can you think of where your user just took time to fill out a form, and they then realized “I have no need for EVERYTHING I just entered. Please remove it all.” If you have a user that accidentally clicks this nasty button, you may have just permanently implanted a negative experience in their mind. To save the world from more trouble, lets just stop doing it. There is literally no need for it to exist. It does nothing that can’t be achieved by other means UNLESS there is a specific case (we’ve yet to see one).

3. Pop-Up and Surveys

Many of your visitors will just want to browse and peruse through your site. Websites that incorporate popups within the first few seconds will annoy more visitors than they will make happy. Popups to chat before your user is really sold on your website will also add an extra annoyance. Simply placing a Chat button in clear view is more than adequate. The same applies for surveys.

4. Redundant Forgot Password Workflow

This is a very common feature of many websites and simultaneously an annoyance to many users. Much of the standard workflow for retrieving a forgotten password is as follows:

User enters their username/email address and wrong/no password ------> User Clicks "Forgot Password" ------> User is prompted to enter username or their email address again.

Having your website store their username so it populates after they click "Forgot Password" is better than your website "forgetting" who they are and asking them to re-enter their information. The former is impersonal and requires too much repetition for end users. Remember, the purpose of your interface is to create a good user experience, even when they have forgotten their password.

5. Auto-Playing Slideshows ,

Having slideshows set at any speed are much harder to click or browse through than content that can be scrolled through. This common mistake made by websites interrupts the flow of your user experience and can even frustrate your visitors, especially when the slide show is the main content on the website. It simply makes the user feel out of control.

While many of the features are extremely common online, it doesn’t mean it’s good practice. Focusing on your users helps to keep them coming back. Taking these 5 design flaws into heavy consideration when you are making your final decisions on your user interface design will help create both clarity and an overall good web experience for your visitors. Incorporating them may put you at risk for losing and frustrating your website visitors.