5 Tips for Happier Users – Giving Them Back Their Time

| 5 min read

I’m busy. You’re busy. Everyone’s busy. It’s not necessarily how things were supposed to be when all the fantastic breakthroughs of the last century were being made; but it is how things are for most of us. We don’t have enough hours in the day and when people waste our time; it makes us mad. One thing we can be pretty certain is that a mad user; isn’t a happy user. So here are 5 tips that can help you free up people’s time with your product, site or application:

Sort out The Performance of Your Platform

Windows users get sick to death of waiting for their machines to boot and Apple’s market share grows because of it. Yes, bandwidth keeps increasing and there’s no reason, at least in the West, for people to use slow connections (which admittedly are the deep seated cause of most online performance issues) but… we’re not all in the West, we’re not all on top of the line connections and that’s your problem as a designer.

Don’t be sloppy optimize for performance. Make it easy for my Cambodian web connection to open your page. Let me be a part of your community. If you do, I might even spend some of my hard-earned cash with you.

Stop Using Captchas

Author/Copyright holder: Didier Jansen. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC 2.0

Is there anything more annoying that the captcha? Learn to filter bot created spam properly instead. I don’t need to demonstrate anything to you when I ask for your free stuff or to buy from you. You wouldn’t ask me to bring my birth certificate to a shop to buy a car. Don’t ask me to jump through hoops online; unless you want to pay me for my wasted time.

Stop Forcing Your Preferences on Me

Author/Copyright holder: MarkV. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-SA 3.0

I don’t care how you want your data formatted. I am sick and tired of websites trying to tell me that the date I have entered is in the past because they can’t tell the difference between DD-MM-YYYY entries and MM-DD-YYYY entries. I am not an American and don’t need to be treated like one. On the flip side my American chums want to be treated like Americans and not like English folks (like me). Make it easy for me to give you my data and then do your own darn formatting. It’s not my problem to help that out.

Stop Making Passwords Complex

Author/Copyright holder: Francis Storr. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

Complicated passwords are a total PITA. I have to write them down. Yes, I know they’re more secure but so what? Security’s no good to me if it means I can’t get to my data because I can’t remember what to type. If you must make passwords complicated; help me out and remind me of the format I am supposed to use when you ask for my password.

Don’t Make Me Do Stuff Twice

Remember my data, use it as often as you need but please don’t ask me to fill it in over and over again. I gave you my phone number, keep it. Make it easy for me to work with you. I don’t need to be a typing monkey for your site. I do enough typing in my day job. Thank you all the same.


Hero Image: Author/Copyright holder: Pablo Lao. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC 2.0

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