Everyone loves a nice pretty website. The design pops on the screen and it invites you to settle in and enjoy the experience. Often designers and/or their clients take two approaches to catch the viewers eye: some choose sleek minimal ideas and others go hog wild with bright colors, animations and a deluge of information. Many times the result ends up being too extreme in either direction and the poor web surfer is given a case of eye poisoning, but that is not the only issue to contend with. There are articles that address similar things strewn about the net, but apparently their are not enough. So, here are a few reasons why some people think your site is evil.
1. Videos that autoplay
Contrary to popular belief, the entirety of the internet community is not on a connection bulky enough to accommodate the downloading of high definition video. That aside, folks hate when you have some advertisement laden video that wants to skip and buffer kick up when they go to your website. I NEVER return to sites that do this. I had to once to pay a bill and went to the mobile version instead. I will hold onto those grudges forever.
2. Advertisement overkill
Let’s say someone really, really wants to read your article, but they can’t find the damn thing. You get upset because after that first surge in advertisement revenue it dwindles down to nothing because your audience became fed up with playing hide and seek with your content. Guess what, there are plenty of other places to find similar content that aren’t covered in crap. Some ads are understandable, but don’t make your place into an advertisement minefield.
3. Your code sucks
Yes, your website is very, very pretty . . . 3 days later when it finally loads because your code is jacked up. This problem may have been one of the reasons that RSS is where it is today. I read tons of webcomics, many only by feed reader because it takes 5-10 minutes for the comic to even load on the website. This is mostly separate from the problem with connection speeds because crap code slows your load time no matter what. There are some websites I will never see the full page for because I just gave up while it was thinking. There are tons of free validators out and plenty of people willing to help you clean the mess up (myself included). With all that gunk, how would you even notice if there was malware thrown in there?
4. It has an ugly, non-matching, gross, pastel/neon/tacky color scheme
People can’t buy what you are selling if they cannot see.
5. You pester the reader to do something
It is cool and all that you want the reader to come back. Nagging is not cool. You cannot make someone subscribe to your content by bullying. I am not going to join anything if you tell me to eight times on the main page. Things like little unobnoxious share buttons on posts are fine. Don’t beat the reader over the head with the fact that you have an e-book every paragraph.
6. Something on the page is blinking
Just last week I saw a site that had some blinking marquee. I wanted to shake the webmaster (because I know that is what that person calls themselves. I am sure they still wear Izod and have a big collection of cassette tapes lying next to their original Walkman. )
7. Navigation to nowhere
Honestly if you are still working on your site that is fine. But if you are trying to provide someone a service and they have to click through enough links to fill a novel, someone else will be much happier to help them out. No one should need a GPS to find your contact information.
8. Extreme minimalism
There needs to be more than just your domain, a jpg, and a copyright. At least one link or sentence should be there to give the readers something to go buy.
9. You try and trick the visitor with a bait and switch
If I can’t just read your article, why am I here? Why do I have to sign up to pay for something to get one little tidbit of information that you could provide free without damaging your drive for revenue? At least throw out an excerpt or summary. 3 links ago there was no obligation to pay, there could at least be a disclaimer somewhere else on your site.
10. Useless back button
I cannot directly vouch for anyone else’s level of annoyance at a website that just reloads when you try to navigate back to the one you were on before it, but it irritates me immensely. It insults me when a page decides I am not allowed to go back the way I came in. Subconsciously you have associated your site with a little kid holding a glass door closed from the other side. Good job.
11. Resizing windows
Hire somebody who knows how to design a website that is standard size. It is not that hard.
12. Music that autoplays
Resource-wise, it is not as bad as the videos. We still hate it. The mute/stop buttons are usually not very responsive and frankly nobody asked you to be their DJ for the evening.
13. Tons of flash/flood of ajax
Netbooks are quite popular. Netbooks do not play nice with a pile of flash. Not unlike many people that will stop by your site, my old notebook wheezes in pain anytime I get to a site with this. Even with browsers that are better equipped to handle the onslaught some computers just freeze at the thought of loading these pages.
14. You still have the same webpage from 1990
People will not be sure your company/product is still relevant if it looks like it predates their teenage children.
There is a way to avoid all of these pitfalls and give your user base a great experience. It shocks me that there are enough of these sites still around that have all of these problems when there are loads of talented designers and programmers out there who would not stand for this nonsense. Be considerate to your customers and realize that your site is supposed to help them, not drive them away.