In your experience, what common misconceptions do clients have regarding web design and UX? Like caring too much about the fold, madly sticking to the 3-click rule.

Btw, there's a good list on Carsonified: The top 10 ux myths.

5 Answers 5


Here are some of the stuff I encounter:

  • Flash and pretty graphics is what user experience is about.
  • Page elements need to be huge in order for the site to be usable.
  • A site's homepage should ALWAYS to be really simple (like have a thing or two only) to be simple and usable.
  • "This isn't right, because X site isn't doing it that way" (where X site is a popular site)
  • "If the user can't understand X, then why would we want him to use our app/site anyway?"
  • Marketing people are the ones who know most about user experience on the web.
  • Nice points, thanks! It's interesting to see that these issues differ. For example, I almost always have to make the home page simpler as the clients would like to put everything they have there. Same with the components being huge -- it's more common for me to be asked by the client to eliminate the whitespace and make stuff smaller. Commented Mar 7, 2010 at 19:47

A personal bête noire is the near universal misinterpretations of Miller's "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two" paper. People keep applying it in completely inappropriate ways - like the maximum number of items in a pull down menu. Grrrr!

Another would be people who don't think accessible web design isn't important for them and then wonder why the most important blind user to businesses is ignoring them.

  • Dead-on, so many people think 7+-2 applies for everything (I've even heard it from some professionals...) Commented Mar 7, 2010 at 19:42

Since I'm a consultant, my client tends to be big corporations or government:

UX is outside the Agile process and just part of something that the business team deals with outside the scheduled tasks

It's all about the user so: SME's are UX experts, best to use for testing and should actively participate in all phases of design

Everything should have a roll-over or pop-up to entice/explain (get this all the time when discussing complex applications)

Offering several ways to do the same thing (multiple-choice) is best for the user

If it passes 508 it's accessible and usable for all (that's all you should test for outside of functionality by QA) and all testing is a QA process, not a UX process


I definitely agree with Mashhoor on all of his points. I deal with every single one of those, especially the Flash stuff. I am not opposed to Flash when it's the appropriate solution for the job, but to them, it seems like it's the appropriate solution to every job. With the powerful capabilities of jQuery these days, most of what we do in Flash doesn't need to be done in Flash. My own company homepage was created entirely in Flash and absolutely doesn't need it. Since it was an internal project and my schedule was booked, I didn't even see it until it was launched.

I think another challenge is the perception that just because someone knows ho to use the tools for UX/IA, they are automatically qualified. Just because my account managers know how to use Visio doesn't mean they should be doing the wireframes or IA.


Some myths that I have run into first-hand:

  • An accessible site is plain or ugly.
  • Poor navigation is OK as long as you've got search!
  • Usability testing is difficult/expensive.
  • Usability/accessibility can be handled at the end.

There's a website, UX Myths, that lists a number of myths regarding UX. It hasn't been updated in some time, but there are currently 33 entries. They are detailed, providing examples and references.

  • 1
    UX Myths covers quite a lot of it
    – PhillipW
    Commented Jan 7, 2012 at 12:11

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