9 Things That Most Annoy Your Users

Paul Bullock

Published Wed 16 Apr by Paul Bullock in Perfecting Your Website's Design

9 design faults that discourage user engagement and how to avoid them.

We all spend time talking about the best way to generate traffic and build confidence among our website visitors. However, it’s also a good idea to know what not to do. Rather than encouraging traffic to your site, some website features may be unconsciously keeping visitors away. Here are a few ideas you can try to help make your website a great place to be.

1.Pop-Up Ads

It is true that pop-up ads are one of the most effective forms of affiliate advertising. It is also one of the most effective ways of bothering visitors. Unless your website is exceptionally popular and useful, pop-up ads may scare visitors away.

A new kind of pop-up has recently emerged on the scene. This is the lightbox-style pop-ups that "grey out" a page and prevent you from using that page, until you make some kind of response to an offer.

A key reason why pop-ups may be bad for your website is discussed in the article poll by Daily Blog Tips which concludes that 36% of visitors may stop visiting a website with pop-ups.

Pop-up ads have however been proven effective in building mailing lists and subscribers, as well as increasing conversions. While we hope that you decide not to use pop-ups, we won’t fault you if you do.

2. Links that Lead Nowhere

Dead links on any website are frustrating for users. They are the quickest way of ensuring visitors abandon your site. Avoid this by verifying that all links on your page point to pages that do exist. It is good practice to create custom error pages in the event that a user requests a page that doesn’t exist.

3. Website with Under Construction Pages

This relates to point number 2 and is a big NO NO in web design. If there is still work to be done on your website do not put it up live. If your site is already live and pages require modification remove those pages from the site navigation until they have been revised.

4. Slow-Loading Pages

Website visitors will determine within the first few seconds of the site loading if they will stay and continue. If your site takes too long to load, most visitors will not wait to view the contents. Instead, they will hit the Back button and click on one of your competitors’ websites.

5. Poor Navigation

When thinking about your website layout ensure the navigation is in a consistent location on all pages and is user-friendly. If users have to spend time searching for it they will get frustrated and go elsewhere.

6. Too Many Ads

Ads are a good way for your site to make money, however a healthy balance needs to be struck between ads and content. Web users visit sites that are useful to them. A website heavily laden with ads offers little value to users who are only a click away from going elsewhere. When ads are included they should relevant to the subject matter of that website page.

7. Unnecessary Clutter with Social Bookmarking Icons

Everyone wants their website to be popular and any website worth its salt will use social bookmarking to achieve this. Embedding social bookmaking icons throughout articles in your page increases the chance of them being shared, right? However, a lot of sites overuse bookmarking icons to the point of creating an annoying button circus. Rather than displaying every button look at your website stats to see social bookmarking sites are sending you the most traffic. Too many buttons can lead to clutter and confusion.

8. Poor Quality Graphics

One of the easiest ways to reduce file size is to sacrifice the quality of images on a page. Poor quality graphics should be used as a last resort to speed up a website’s load time. Try other options first: stripping white space from files and tiling backgrounds with CSS can both help here.

9. Small Font

If users have to squint to read content on a webpage there’s something wrong. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if font size is too large it can be just as hard for users to read. Incorrect use of font can make a site look amateur and cheap.

What do you think? Use our comments section below to share your ideas and suggestions.

Want to ask us anything, about the issues raised in this article, or anything else web-related? Visit our ask an expert page!

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