Bad UX - cover (main)

Bad UX: When Design Makes No Sense (with Examples)

Design, Product
10 min
Jul 03, 2024

Picture yourself browsing a well-known online shopping platform to pick out a birthday present for a friend. You stumble upon the ideal gift, place it in your shopping basket, and proceed to the payment section.

Suddenly, the dream turns sour. Navigating the checkout feels like a maze filled with hoops to jump through, repeating the same details over and over without any sign that you’re getting closer to the end. Feeling annoyed, you decide to leave your cart behind and start searching for another place to shop. We’re dealing with a textbook example here: a poor user experience, more commonly known as bad UX.

These days, when everything is online, being good at UX matters a lot. It’s all about how a person feels when interacting with something like an app or a website; mainly, it’s about making sure they find it simple and enjoyable.

When a product’s user experience is top-notch, it makes customers happy, increases their involvement, and helps sell more. On the other hand, a bad user experience design can annoy people, make them use the product less, and ultimately cause a drop in revenue.

This article explores the realm of poor UX design. It will highlight well-known instances of such design and compare ineffective and effective UX strategies, aiming to steer readers away from typical design errors.

What Is Bad UX Design?

When a user interface doesn’t match what people need or expect, they feel upset and lost. Because of bad UX design, users find themselves dealing with products that are hard to figure out and don’t work well, making their interaction with them unenjoyable.

Various problems can lead to bad user experiences, including navigation that’s hard to follow, unclear instructions, and poorly responsive mobile devices. When creators forget about the importance of ease of use, products with bad user experience frustrate users instead of helping them. When the user experience isn’t good, it can push people away, make them less happy with the service, and, ultimately, hurt the company’s profit.

What Is the Real Reason for Bad UX?

When a product fails to connect with those who use it, it’s not just a matter of a few design mistakes. It cuts deeper, touching the core of what makes the product worthwhile. The issues show up in different forms. You might struggle to find your way around or wait forever for things to load. Designers sometimes don’t get their users completely or skip testing their designs well enough, which often leads to difficulties.

Designers who skip the essentials of usability and don’t understand what their audience needs end up making bad UX products that annoy instead of help.

When a product’s design fails to meet user expectations, it doesn’t just irritate those who use it and casts a shadow on how they view the brand. A carefully crafted interface makes it simple and straightforward for users to navigate; on the flip side, products with poor UX design tend to make users feel bewildered and unhappy. A brand can take a severe hit to its good name and push customers to leave because of it.

Bad UX Examples: What You Shouldn’t Do

When a UX design doesn’t hit the mark, it’s usually because small things were overlooked and there wasn’t enough focus on what the user needs. To get a grasp on how a design can miss the mark, let’s look at some examples of poor UX:

  1. Inconsistent design. When a website mixes up the colors of fonts and how buttons look, it can leave people puzzled and give off a not-so-polished vibe. Having everything match up nicely is crucial for a smooth experience for anyone visiting.
  2. Confusing navigation. When a website’s layout is hard to follow, people often don’t find what they are looking for. Take an online store as an example. If the steps to buy something are too complex, shoppers might give up and not finish buying their items.
  3. Slow load times. When a mobile app drags its feet in loading, it risks swiftly waving goodbye to its users. If an app or website can’t keep up with the pace of quick replies people look for, they frequently decide to leave it behind.
  4. The confusing e-commerce checkout process. Many online shopping websites have trouble with checkout steps because they are too complex. What ought to be an easy and fast process gets slowed down by too many forms asking for information, forcing people to make an account, and giving instructions that are hard to follow.
  5. Cluttered interfaces. When a website or an app crams too many things onto one page, it can make users feel swamped. Take, for instance, a news site packed with tons of links; it becomes a real challenge for visitors to zero in on the stories they want to read.
  6. Poorly designed mobile apps. Many apps with bad user experience out there don’t make users happy because they’re tough to use. For example, when apps have minimal buttons, you can barely press things that don’t work when you swipe or too many ads that keep popping up – this makes people want to get rid of them fast.
  7. Lack of mobile optimization. Many people visit websites on their phones. When a site doesn’t work well on the phone, it can be hard to use and might discourage people from staying on it.
  8. Intrusive pop-ups on websites. When a website throws too many pop-ups at its visitors, especially the ones that are a real pain to get rid of or move past, it makes for an annoying online experience. These annoying pop-ups mess with the flow of someone surfing the web, making them fed up and more likely to leave the site quickly.

Designers who investigate what makes a UX poor and learn from real-life cases can avoid the usual mistakes.

Bad UX Examples

Bad UX Examples

The Impact of Bad UX Design

When a business doesn’t pay enough attention to making its user experience good, it can end up causing big problems. This kind of neglect results in users not sticking around, fewer people deciding to buy anything, and, in the end, the business making less money. People who don’t like using something often tell their friends about their bad experiences, which can make many people think less of a brand.

Bad UX vs. Good UX

Grasping the gap between a negative user experience and an excellent user experience is a vital skill for designers; it’s key to crafting products that earn users’ affection. The points below highlight several important contrasts.

Bad UX vs Good UX

User-Centered Design

When creating a UX design, the focus is always on what the user needs and how they act. Designers do a lot of research and tests to ensure that the product lives up to what users hope for. On the other hand, when the design isn’t good, it usually doesn’t pay much attention to what users say and relies more on guesses.

Simplicity vs. Complexity

A well-thought-out UX design makes it easy for users to do what they need quickly. Conversely, if the UX design isn’t good, it complicates everything and puts things in a way that doesn’t need to be there.

Consistency and Predictability

When a product has good UX, things like buttons, menus, and links always look and work the same way. This makes the product easy to figure out and use. On the other hand, when UX design isn’t done well, things don’t match up, which can cause people to get confused and make mistakes.

When designers conduct user research, conduct usability tests, and cycle through design phases, they lay the groundwork for creating good UX. Putting the user at the core of the design process leads to products that not only work well but also bring joy to those who use them.

How to Avoid Bad UX Design: Best Practices

A product that doesn’t make users happy can hurt a company. If people don’t like something they use, it can cause lousy feedback, less faith from buyers, and fewer items sold. Products with poor user experience usually see many people left behind searching for options that offer a more excellent way to interact.

To avoid poor UX design, you must take action early and stick to the core principles that put the user first. To dodge the usual UX pitfalls, there is a list of top tips you should follow:

How to Avoid Bad UX Design

  • Conduct user research. To understand who you’re talking to, ask them questions through surveys, talk to them directly, and watch how they use what you’ve made. This will help you understand what the people you’re designing for really need and what bothers them, steering the way you create things.
  • Simplify navigation. Make sure the way people move around the site feels natural and simple so they can quickly find what they require.
  • Focus on mobile. As more people use their phones for everything, it’s crucial that your designs work well and look good on these smaller screens. When mobile sites don’t work right or look off, users often have a bad time.
  • Prioritize usability. Make sure using your product feels simple and that moving through it is straightforward. Work on making how users interact with your product feel natural while keeping things as uncomplicated as possible.
  • Maintain consistency. To make sure people have a smooth experience on your website, stick to using the same design features everywhere.
  • Keep it simple. Make your designs simpler by removing unnecessary parts and paying attention to what the user really cares about. A tidy and simple interface usually makes people have a good time using it.
  • Test and iterate. Make it a habit to check your designs with actual users and make changes according to what they say. Always getting better at what you do by listening to user feedback is crucial for providing an experience they’ll love.


Understanding what your users want and need is critical to creating products they’ll connect with. Paying close attention to how people use what you’ve made helps you create something they find easy and enjoyable, making them want to keep coming back.

Encourage User Testing

Make it a habit to check your current products with actual users often. This way, you can find problems with their ease of use and get suggestions on improving them.

Prioritize User Research

You should try understanding what your users want and how they act early on while designing. Knowing this stuff well makes your designs not just good but smart and easy to use.

Improve UX Knowledge

Keep yourself informed about what’s new and effective in UX design. Learn through web classes, live sessions, and expert-written blogs to level up your abilities.

Are you looking to take your online service to the next level through outstanding user experience design? Reach out to our Uitop team now to set up a talk and find out how we can assist you in crafting designs focused on the user that not only please your crowd but also propel you toward achievement.

by Ivan Klyzhenko
UX Startup Advisor, Uitop


What is the main characteristic of bad UX design?

Bad UX design is characterized by user interfaces that fail to meet users’ needs, resulting in confusion, frustration, and inefficiency.

Why is bad UX a problem?

Bad UX can damage a brand’s reputation, drive customers away, and lead to lost sales and lower user engagement.

How can bad UX affect a business?

Bad UX can decrease user engagement, lower conversion rates, and damage a brand’s reputation, ultimately influencing revenue.

Can bad UX design be fixed?

Yes, bad UX design can be fixed by conducting user research, prioritizing usability, and continuously testing and iterating on designs.

Can you give an example of a common bad UX mistake?

A common mistake is cluttered interfaces that overwhelm users with too many elements, making it hard to focus on the main content.

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