In this podcast we cover common user experience errors that stop a website from being effective. This episode is a part of a series of podcasts on the subject of building an effective website.
We touch on: Zelda, N64, Hamburger Menus, Do’s and Don’ts of great UX, being a GenXer using technology, free website evals and of course, digital marketing.
Transcript for the podcast:
All right, this is the Worry Free Marketing, a Podcast. This is Matt and Chad. We were just having a
discussion about user experience and that’s actually what we’re going to be talking about today. We’ve
been looking at websites and attempting to give you as a business owner or marketer, some actionable
advice that you could use right now to look at your website and say, “Okay, how can I improve this?”
And we’ve taken a look already at copying SEO factors, and now we’re taking a look at user experience.
Yeah. And I always like to be the one who says, “Okay. User experience is one of those things where
people could try to define it in different ways.” So we’re just going to define it on this podcast. So you
have a user, that’s the person really that’s like the prospect who’s going to arrive at your website. And
then you have the experience, which is interesting. It is, “What is their experience when using it?” And
what we’re going for when we say user experience, is ease of use accomplishing what they want, or ease
of use on your part on getting them to do what you want them to do.
Well, I just want a hone in on something real quick, because you just said something and it was one of
those like little moments, right, that I think is really key to understand about user experience. And that is
this point, right? It’s about the user’s experience. It’s not about your experience as an owner.
It’s not how self-congratulatory you feel as a result of looking at this beautiful site. Like, are you
mentally masturbating while you’re looking at this thing going, “Oh my God, this is freaking… This is
me.” No, we don’t care what your experience is. And that is probably the… I don’t know. I think
reviewing the user experience… The point where we really get into friction with people on creating
websites has been when the purpose has been something other than helping to guide the prospect
through to becoming an actual lead.
Yeah. If whatever you’re making or creating is something that you’re going to use also. So for example,
how many Apple employees also use an iPhone? Probably all of them. I mean, 99.9% of Apple
employees have an iPhone. And the person who made the iPhone is also going to use the iPhone. So in
that case, their user experience matters, but even more because they know how to create it, the user
experience is someone who has never had contact with it, is not technical person, does not know how to
code, does not know how to do software. Their experience matters the most. So how does it make them
feel as the primary thing? And just like [crosstalk 00:03:11]. Yeah.
Sure. Well, let’s translate that out of a specifically technological field, right? Let’s talk about, I don’t
Don’t do dentists. You’re going to do dentists. Don’t do-
No, no, no, no. I wasn’t going to do dentists.
How about HVAC or something, how about roofers?
Oh, that’s a great one. Yeah, no, HVAC. We’ve seen this, right, where the guys come up with all sorts of
like… I mean, this goes back to SEO a bit too, but where they start talking about the systems that they’re
using and they’ll have multiple pages and they’ll be using these words that don’t make any freaking
sense. And the guy just wants to know, “Hey, can you fix my AC?” That’s what he wants.
Yeah, that’s exactly right. And if they’re selling to a mechanical engineer who is going to be doing all the
plans for a large hospital building, then maybe in that case would those pages make sense if that’s your
market. But if you’re talking about homeowners and a typical small business where the AC is not
something… It’s like, someone else handle that problem. I pay someone else to handle that problem,
that’s not my problem. Then it’s just so applicable because you can’t go on and on about all sorts of
things people know nothing about when all they’re trying to do is find out, “Can this person solve my
problem? Should I call them?”
Yeah. That back-button is always omnipresent. It’s right there. Anybody can hit a back-button. Anybody
can click the little X and it doesn’t matter how many pop-ups you’ve got to trigger when someone starts
reaching for that X button. You should just provide an experience for your site that answers people’s
questions and then gives them an outlet for them to contact you, right? And there’re various
considerations on that.
Yeah. And there’s this aspect of get the person to your website, which means you have to have a lot of
great content because Google wants that. And it has to be relevant to your field, relevant to what
people are searching for. And then serve the contents in such a way that on an iPhone, on an Android
device, on an iPad, or on a laptop, or a big screen, they’re going to be able to find what they want
without being inundated, but also with having lots of information.
And so how it’s structured, where you put your phone numbers, where you put your button, where you
put your calls to action, how often you repeat certain things. We’ll have someone say, “Well, we don’t
need the phone number at the bottom of the website, it’s already at the top of the website.” Okay.
Well, the person they finish reading and they decide, “I want to call you.” The number’s right there. They
don’t have to say, “Where’s this number now?” And on mobile have to scroll up with their thumb four
So there’s these little things of make the experience for the user really easy where it’s very natural that
the next step they want to take is just right there. And that’s really what you’re trying to do. That’s the
whole [crosstalk 00:06:13] of it. And design and user experience do go hand-in-glove. But there are
times that something on the surface looks really pretty, but then the user experience actually sucks. And
so you don’t want that.
No, you don’t want that. And I think, Matt, one of the things that we do that I think is helpful to think
about and anyone can apply this, is typically when we’re designing a website we’ll talk to the people
about, “Okay, what do people ask you on their route to making a purchase? What are their objections?
What are the things that they want to know, or, typically that’s involved in that process?” And then we
build that into the design of the site so that people aren’t left in a deep mystery regarding, “Okay, what’s
going to happen when I click this button? Am I going to receive 47 phone calls?” And that kind of thing,
Yeah. You have the questions that they commonly ask, and those the business owner will know, and
then also Google will know because people are searching. And then there’s that other one which is,
what questions should they be asking? So you have, what questions should they ask? And, what they
don’t ask them, but they should? And from that, you can develop loads of content. It ends up being
pretty easy to come up with the main pages of your website. And from there you can start creating
articles to provide more information and so on.
Do you want to… I think that’s a good point. I was just taking notes about… Because our next one is
going to be on lead generation, right? And that triggered something on lead generation but I don’t want
to start talking about that because we’re trying to do more than one podcast about those.
Right, right. We’d rather it be short and sweet and leave someone saying, “That was great. I want to
come back and listen to another one.” And give them time to reflect on the concepts that we put out I
think [crosstalk 00:08:20] podcast.
Right. So we’re about halfway through at this point, do you want to take up individually some of our pet
peeves we’ve encountered on user experience? Do you think that would be valuable?
Yeah. Well, so pet peeves definitely enters the realm of opinion. So some of them will be opinion. And
some of them are like-
Some of them are not.
This transcript was exported on Oct 06, 2020 – view latest version here.
I’m going to give you a good example on the HVAC front. Someone posted in a Facebook group in my
local community, that they were looking for an HVAC technician. And I have a friend who owns a
company and I’d wanted to do their website. And his wife love her, she’s a fantastic woman and had
another friend also and they ended up building a website.
And after it was all done, I happened to go on there because I use them for service and I noticed a bunch
of things. And so I sent her a real kind email and I said, “Hey, here’s some stuff to get fixed.” Because I
care about their survival. Our kids know each other, I want them to do well. So I said, “Hey, get these
things fixed.” And she was really well received. She said she was going to do it, and she did. A bunch of
them are fixed.
But today I go on there and I say, “I need their phone number.” I need the number so that I can send it
to someone as a referral. So there were two things. One, when I went to the contact page and I went
down to the phone number, you can’t tap on it to call her. You touch it, nothing happens. You have to
highlight it and copy it and paste it in. That right there is not good to user experience. Really good user
experience would be, I touch the number and I call them. The other thing was that in their menu when
you tap on the hamburger, those three lines, they call that a hamburger menu. But you tap on that and
you pop it open, there is-
Wait, wait, wait. Just to… Hamburger menu, what the hell are you talking about?
The three lines. They call it a hamburger menu.
Yeah, that’s the term for it. Yeah, look it up.
Okay. Well, all right. Challenge accepted, go ahead.
Apple decided that they would only do two lines, so it can’t be called a hamburger. And when you click
on it, the lines go like this and they’re on their website. [crosstalk 00:10:30]-
How about that?
But it’s called a hamburger menu because there’s three things. It’s like a sandwich.
Well, that’s kind of transitioned well to my pet peeve. Anyway, are you done with yours?
Okay. No, no, one more thing. So then you go to the menu, I click the mobile menu, so those three lines.
I tap it and there’s a phone number there, okay. Now that phone number is the same color, it is black
text. It’s the same color as the other phone number on that contact page. But it is clickable. Now I would
not know it was clickable. If I tap it I can call them, but I didn’t know that because it wasn’t blue, it
doesn’t appear to be a tappable phone… There’s nothing about it that says, “Hey, if you’re on a mobile
device, just touch this and call us.”
And so this was something I actually brought up. I’m going to have to tell them again or just bring it up
again. If they don’t want to do it, it’s up to them. But good user experience would say, hey, let’s make it
so a 60-year-old who came into computers in the last 20 years and definitely did not grow up with them.
Maybe more than 20, 25 years-ish. I think most-
I would say anybody older than 15. Anybody that is-
Sure. That’s true. I’m being exaggerative-
Yeah. I mean, it’s just like, “Okay, good. Yeah.” Tyler, my son is totally used to just poking at things on a
touchscreen until it does what he wants it to do.
This is a really good point. It’s not just for people… Okay. So here’s where I was coming from. This is a
really point, Chad, that you bring up. I was coming from the perspective of the fact that the younger
generation who grew up with computers tends to have a better grip on, or maybe this is me, I can figure
So if that phone number is not clickable, I can figure out and say to myself, “Okay, I guess I’ll highlight it
and hit copy and I will go to my phone number thing and I’ll paste it in. And it will paste in and then I’ll
call it.” Someone else might be switching back and forth trying to remember the numbers, they
manually typed it in. But I know that I can just copy and paste it or I know there’s another way around it.
So I think to myself, “Well, there’s a generation that doesn’t know that there’s another way around it.
There’s another way to do it.” Well, maybe the younger generation even if they do know, even more for
them, they’re going to get even more frustrated because they’re like, “What the heck? I can’t tap it and
call.” So it really applies to everybody. And the one it applies to least is probably the person who builds
them for a living like me. I started out building websites personally with Worry Free until we hired
people that do that. So that’s a great point you bring up.
Yeah. And so my point is a related point, right? And Matt, I tagged you in that meme the other day, “I’m
a Gen X-er so I can figure out technology like a millennial, but I get mad like a boomer.” Right? And-
I just didn’t know if that applied to me or you. That’s what IChad:
No. It’s me.
It’s you. Okay.
You are totally… I mean, dude, I’d have to look up your age, but I think at least in spirit, you’re totally
millennial, right? And I’m Gen X, right? Pretty thoroughly. Born in ’72. And so my first experience with
computers was not poke at things until it works, right? In fact, just the opposite. My early video game
experiences were, if you did something wrong your entire file got erased. Or there were simple ways to
completely create your… Spend eight hours on a word processor and then push the button wrong and
then have the whole thing delete.
Right. And it wasn’t auto-saving and there was no [crosstalk 00:14:07] back. And there was, yeah.
Right. You know Legend of Zelda? Okay. One of my favorite video games on Nintendo 64.
Nintendo 64. So not even NES, but-
Yeah. So this isn’t all that long ago, right? This is what, like 20 years, 25?
98, 99. Something like that. Yeah.
Right. So anyway, point being there was a point in the game where I did the wrong thing in the video
game, and then it was a game breaking bug and there was nothing that could be done by it. And then I
And it would have been like start over or quit. Those are your choices.
Right. And I was just thinking yesterday, my first experiences with computers were on these gigantic
things in the library in grade school. And it was all text entry and all that stuff, right? And then in junior
high school, we did some DOS programming, which I was horrible at. And then beyond that, it was like,
whatever, Microsoft. I don’t know, whatever. Anyway, sorry-
95, 98, went from Windows 3.0 to [crosstalk 00:15:16]-
Wait. Hold on. [crosstalk 00:15:18]. Okay. All right. Back to present time. My point being, okay, so as a
little bit older person than you, I have a slightly different interactive sort of experience with technology.
For one thing, I’ve got my formative years with technology were surrounded by fears of erasing things
that I’d worked hard on or ruining school computers. And then now as I’ve gotten older and I’ve gotten
used to kind of the paradigm today.
Okay. But as a slightly older person, there are a couple of things that are super obnoxious. One is fonts
that are difficult to read because that means I’m reaching for my goddamn readers. And I don’t want to
be reminded that I’m old. So like when it’s a really pale text against a paler background and you’re
squinting at the screen and you just can’t read it, those are horrible examples of things not to do with
your website. I don’t care how pretty it looks. You do not want light blue font on a gray background. And
then the other thing.
Right. And related to your thing about the phone number that was clickable, but it was black, is the font
that matches exactly the blue font of a link that doesn’t then click.
Right, like, “Psych.”
And related, if something looks like a button, it should act like a button.
Sure. You should be able to click it. Yeah.
Right. And I’ve also seen sites where the top menu bar, whatever you call that, not the hamburger
menu, but whatever you want to call-
Right. The main menu.
Or header menu.
If it’s inconsistent where some of the top items click to a page and some of them don’t, you’re pissing off
your users. You’re making them angry.
There’s a point on consistency there that it’s important to point out. And it’s really not the job of the
person who owns the website to know this stuff. It’s the job of people who are building websites. And it
is not necessarily a developer, developers are typically told, “Here’s what you need to develop.” The
designers and marketers need to be thinking about this and advising strategically and then telling the
owner and then having the developer develop it.
But a consistent experience is important. So if you have, let’s say this area of your website where you
have four images and when you hover over each image they get a little darker, right? And across the
website, you have some contents and a band across the website. And you have these four images and
under each, within the image or whatever, maybe each image is named for one of your services. And so
you can click on it and it takes you to the page about the service, and then you go further down.
Now just say you haven’t clicked on it yet, but you see, oh, and a mouse hovers over this, I can click on
that. So now you go down and now there’s this really pretty image. I saw this on a website, they do
pools. So you go down a little bit and now there’s a pool. And lo and behold, the images looked the
exact same. So you think that you should be able to hover over it, click on that image, and be taken
And here you see this beautiful pool and you go, “Oh man, I want to get a pool installed in my house.
That’s the kind of pool I want.” So you click on it and nothing happens. Because up top, you’ve told
them, “Hey, this is how this website works.” Then on the next experience, all of one page down, you’re
repeating some aspects of what you’ve done earlier, but not all of it. And so when you’re setting
precedent and you’re creating an experience, you do want consistency in what that experience is. So I
think that’s important. I would love, but we’re hitting the end of our allotted time. We always try to
keep it under 20 minutes.
So first of all, if a business owner wants us to do an eval of their website and tell them what to fix, we’ll
tell you for free. You can hire us to fix it or not, but we’ll tell you what to do. Reach out to us at
worryfreemarketing.com, fill out the contact form, ask for a web eval. We’ll do it, we love doing it. It
keeps us sharp. Maybe it leads to a relationship. It’s a no-pressure situation, but what are a few action
items we can leave people with.
Look at your website from the viewpoint of a person who doesn’t know who you are or what your
That’s awesome. I love it. Yeah. Not being too close to the center. That’s great.
And don’t piss people off.
That’s probably just good in life. What are we going to talk about next? So for anyone who’s coming to
the end of this podcast, I’ll tell you that most recently we spoke about design in an earlier podcast, we
talked about search engine optimization also. Our next podcast I think is about lead generation, isn’t it?How to make your website generate leads for you?
Yeah. Yeah, we’re going to look at lead generation.
So if you didn’t think this podcast sucked and you found it entertaining and you learned something, then
you might enjoy the next one on lead generation. We tend to drop them about a week apart on
Yeah. Good times, man.
Right, let’s sign off.