Hits and Misses in 2018 UX Design

2018 has been a pivotal year for businesses looking to improve their user experience (UX) design. As advanced technologies become more readily available, companies have been able to create intuitive and user-friendly layouts while intelligently adapting to their user’s needs.

While many companies have taken advantage of new design principles to build a better UX for their customers, not every business has risen to the occasion. Here are six examples of companies that got UX right in 2018 and some that didn’t quite hit the mark.


1. Apple (HIT!)

Apple has always been known for its love of creative and innovative design concepts. This translates into both their product development as well as their web design. Apple’s website has become completely immersive over the years and uses simple, clean navigational windows. The use of parallax scrolling on their webpages is nearly flawless, making the entire browsing session something to remember and hard to leave.


2. Walmart (MISS!)

The retail giant Walmart may know how to maximize their floor space and present efficient layouts in their stores, but they still have a lot to learn when doing the same for their website. Although they’ve made great improvements over the years, Walmart’s website is still extremely overwhelming. The main category page takes you forever to navigate and the layout is still confusing. By not listening to their customers needs, they’ve made it compelling for customers to shop elsewhere.


3. Amazon (HIT!)

Amazon has become the gold standard in effective UX design and has managed to achieve this while managing near-endless amounts of e-commerce products. Amazon’s home page is dynamic and personalized based on user preferences and previous purchases, and their “one-click ordering” system is by far one of their greatest shining achievements. Not only can customers find pretty much anything they’re looking for on the massive e-commerce marketplace, but they can get it shipped to their door in two days or less with one click of a button.


4. Skype (MISS!)

Skype has been struggling to keep up with popular messaging apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Unfortunately, in their quest to become more relevant to users, they’ve added way too many options that clutter the chat interface and make it challenging to use. Making things flashy doesn’t necessarily make them functional. Skype’s new interface pushes the use of emojis, attachments, GIFs, stickers, and every other form of media rather than creating a functional interface that’s not riddled with bugs and endless patches.


5. Starbucks (HIT!)

The Starbucks mobile ordering app may well be one of the most used and well-received retailer-specific applications. Starbucks has designed a multi-purpose application that not only lets users order their coffees on the go but incentivizes its use through a well-managed, transparent reward system.

What makes the UX of this application so powerful is its focus on creating a truly personalized experience for each individual user. Customers can create completely customizable drink recipes, save their favorites for easy ordering in the future, and manage their payments all from one user-friendly platform.


6. Yale School of Art (MISS!)

The award for the most awkward and painful UX fail goes to the Yale School of Art website. It‘s hard to know where to begin when listing all the things wrong with the layout of their site. What most people notice first is how distracting the home page is. The mirrored background design may be artistic, but it’s also extremely distracting and unnecessary. Every webpage lacks consistency with an overarching theme and hidden links, and small fonts that make it hard to navigate efficiently. A website theme like this is bad enough, but the fact that the site is not even responsive for mobile devices shows UX is the last consideration of their web developers.


UX design helps businesses prioritize the needs of their customers over their own. When you shift your focus on your product, service, or website and how you can bring real value to the individual using them, you’re able to better balance features that are necessary against those that aren’t. By following the examples of those companies that got it right in 2018 and steering clear of the mistake made by those who didn’t, you’ll ensure your UX design remains effective and improves customer engagement.