The average internet user in the US spends 32 hours per month online. Spending this much time online means that users run into things they like and things that make them a little frustrated. Below is a list of features that generally annoy users and should be avoided on your site.
- Logo NOT Linking to the Homepage: Web users have come to expect to be taken back to the homepage when they click on your logo on the top of the page. Even if you have “Home” in your main navigation, visitors will likely click on your logo when they wish to return to your homepage. If the logo does not link back to Home, the visitor will be both confused and frustrated, as depicted in the meme above.
- Auto-Playing Audio or Video: Users generally do not enjoy being surprised by music or video that they are not expecting to play when they visit a website. They may be listening to music or watching a video in another window, so this automatic media is disrupting to their experience. The auto-play may seem like a good idea to capture a visitor’s attention, but this often causes you to lose them for good.
- Difficult to Find Contact Information: Many of your website visitors may have come to your site for the express purpose of learning how best to contact a company representative. Little more can ensure that these users never again return to your site than difficult to find – or worse – non-existent contact information. Internet users expect to see a link to a “Contact Us” in two places: the top navigation bar (generally on the far right) and in the footer. Once on the contact page, they want to see an email address, phone number and physical address at which they can reach a company representative. If you have a contact form too, that’s great, but users like to be able to choose how they can contact you, not be forced to fill out a form.
- Log-In Screens: Screens that immediately pop up asking users to log in block your content and may prevent visitors from clicking through to view your site. If you allow users to surf your site as a guest, do not immediately cover all of your content with a log-in screen.
- Distracting Ads: Pop-up ads or ads that enlarge when users hover over them not only annoy your visitors, they detract from and hide your valuable content.
- Required Add-Ins: Anytime you require a user to install an add-in to view your content you are risking them choosing not to install the add-in and simply leave your site.
- Complex Main Navigations: Your main navigation should be straight-forward and easy to follow. There should be a tab with what you offer (your products and services), who you are (about us), how to get in touch with you, and a tab for your blog. Once you start including too many items in your navigation it becomes difficult for the user to find the information that they are looking for.
Many of these features may have been in-vogue at one time or another, but today’s web visitors use more than computers, they also use tablets and phones, and some of these features can alienate the visitor. If you’re finding that your site contains a few items on this list, you may need a little Technology Therapy®. Contact us for a consultation today!