Five Digital Mistakes to avoid in 2023

Author: Koji Kumpulainien


    • It’s OK to make mistakes
    • Do your best not to break these specific rules
    • Innovation often requires us to break the rules

Mistake 1

CAPTCHAs (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart)


  • Not accessible
  • Culturally biased
  • Puts the burden on users
  • Easy for robots, hard for humans


  • Monitoring
  • Scaling (containers and a CDN [content delivery network])
  • Honeypot
  • Multifactor or biometric authentication
  • Limit IP addresses to U.S. only (if possible)
captcha example finding taxis
Logging in with 2FA.

Mistake 2



  • A11y issues
  • Low conversion rate; inefficient to complete tasks
  • Slow load times
  • Search engine optimization (SEO); poor markup
  • Negative user experience
Example of a carousel with text Think two steps ahead text and women walking a dog


  • Go vertical:
    • Users accustomed to vertical scroll
    • Optimize images suggest SVG format
  • Use Cards:
    • Calls attention
    • Highlight an action
    • Add imagery to blocks of text
  • Other options:
    • Use proper markup to optimize SEO
    • Add meaningful alt text for images

Mistake 3

Accessibility Overlays


  • Do not function
  • “Fixes” disappear when the feature is removed
  • Don’t prevent lawsuits
example of overlay item blue man within a circle over footer of cdt website


  • Inclusive design
  • Begin with accessible content
  • Use HTML pages instead of PDFs (when possible)
  • Use the latest version of the state template or the Design System

Mistake 4

Alerts, Banners and Icons


  • Distracts from more important content
  • Not many universally understood icons
  • Makes the page overwhelming to view, use, navigate
  • Less UX friendly


  • Keep it simple
  • Establish a visual hierarchy using:
    • Different types of imagery (photos, illustrations, icons)
    • Color (contrast must be ADA complaint)
    • Size (must be legible no lower than 12pt. )
    • White space! (Makes content stand out)
example of website of the CDT website home to show two many icons and pop off items

Mistake 5

Pop-ups and downs: Cookies, Terms of agreement, You are leaving messages, Surveys, etc.

How I experience Web today


  • Frustrating for users
  • Users click without reading the agreement.
  • A11y: some cannot be tabbed using a keyboard
  • Increased interaction cost (makes people think)
  • Like carousels, negatively impact SEO and performance


  • Use appropriately (confirming an action that cannot be undone
  • Use a separate page
example of pop-up alert on website sample text cookie privacy statement with blue two buttons