One of the tenets of inbound marketing is not to annoy. So why is it that many websites are still chock full of the elements that so many visitors have bemoaned over and over? Perhaps with the sheer excitement (or terror, depending on your personality) that comes with designing your own website, all of the user experience quirks that have driven you crazy over the years escape your mind. But poor user experience can cause high page abandonment rates, low visitor-to-lead conversion rates, poor organic search listing positions, and a plain ol’ bad reputation. So we compiled a list of the 15 most annoying things we’ve seen on websites to act as a sort of guide for what not to do when designing your website. Take a look at the worst offenders!
15 Things People Hate About Your Website
1) Pop-Up Ads
Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way. Pop-ups are seriously annoying. Yes, a pop-up could get you a few new email subscribers, but is that really worth all the traffic you lose when visitors abandon your site in annoyance? Convert site visitors into leads with well-written content and compelling CTAs/offers, not interruptive gimmicks.
2) Automatically Playing Multimedia Content When a Page Loads
Shhhh! I wasn’t supposed to be on this site at work! If someone’s enjoying what they thought was a silent browsing session and they’re bombarded with your theme song or a talking head on a video for which they didn’t press “play” and can’t find the button for “stop,” what do you think they’re going to do? Some might fumble for their mute button, but I can more easily locate the back button in my browser than my computer’s volume controls. Let visitors choose to play your multimedia content; don’t force it on them.
3) Disorienting Animations
You’re probably familiar with the blink test by now — the 3 seconds users have to orient themselves on any given web page before they click ‘back’ in their browser. Animations, auto-play videos, blinking and flashing paid advertisements, and other interactive entertainment may seem really cool (I’m sure it’s very well designed!) but it detracts from a visitor’s focus during those critical 3 seconds. Nix the animations, and let visitors focus on what they can do on that page with clearly written headlines and explanatory copy.