and sometimes other stuff


Thoughts by Josef Richter
ux/ui designer

running – get top designers' feedback for a price you can afford

UX/UI patterns to avoid

There are a few major patterns that I discuss with every client and try to explain why they should be avoided, whenever possible. So it makes sense to write it down I guess.

Walkthrough tutorials and hints

These are essentially screens that explain how the controls in the app work. This is fundamentally wrong. In my opinion, good design doesn't need explanation.

It's designer's job to figure out a way to make the app intuitive and easy to use without a tutorial. It's not acceptable to show hints or arrows explaining what this icon does and that button does. That's a good sign that maybe the icon is bad or the button label is not clear enough - yes, 'copywriting' within the app is also UX/UI designers' job.

Walkthroughs may make sense in certain cases, usually when they introduce an overall concept or the business as such, and are not just about the app as such. For example AiBnB is not an app business. The app is just one of the tools, and the intro in the app speaks about booking accommodation in private homes, which is essentially marketing.

Other exception is when an app is introducing a wholly new UX/UI pattern, like Tinder did. But most apps should stick to existing patterns. Even in case of Tinder, the animations give you a pretty good hint, without actually using any tutorial.


Hamburger menu

This is finally a dying breed, but the discussion is nevertheless happening on each project. Unless there's a strong reason for hamburger menu, I always advise against it. Unfortunately, one of the strong reasons happened to be that everybody was using them, so it became quite a well established UX pattern, that many clients insist on them - that's why I did use them myself on several projects.

Hamburger menus are often a result lazy designers unwillingness to figure out how to simplify the app. There are very few apps that require moving controls to a hamburger menu, instead of classic tabbar. Hamburger menu is often just a hideaway for a lot of crap.

The worst thing about them was that the hamburger icon was usually in the top left corner of the app, where it made the least sense. To reach it you have to cover your whole display with your hand, therefore breaking contact with the app. On iPhone 6 and later it's simply unreachable at all when holding the phone with one hand.

Even one of the biggest proponents of hamburger menus - Facebook - is partially moving away from it, using a classic tabbar (even though they cramped 6 icons in it) and having a hamburger icon in the bottom right corner where you can actually reach it.

Thank you for reading this far, leave a comment and please see my works with no tutorial screens and if there are any hamburger menus, they are at least good looking :-)

I am available for contract work now – please contact me or chat with me using the widget on the bottom right.


Josef RichterComment