Why do so many websites piss off annoy potential customers? I know a good website does many positive things for a business, including reinforce your visual brand. But ultimately, it’s supposed to generate leads and stimulate sales by inviting people to come in, stay a while, develop a relationship, etc.
I’m been compiling a brief list of the most irritating/distracting things I’ve found on websites lately, and I’d like your input. Do you find these as annoying as I do? Have I missed any doozies? Please share in the comments.
- Flash animation Yes, they can be dazzling and your Web designer probably loves them. Maybe you do, too. But will your customer?
It depends on what you’re selling and who your target market is, I suppose. Flash animation has tremendous potential to illustrate your company’s unique competitive advantage, and reinforce the features, benefits or outcomes your product or service delivers. But how often does it actually do that?
Like all bright, shiny objects, website animation is usually more of a distraction than an integral part of your sales message. They show off how creative the animator is, but do they increase a customer’s appreciation or desire to buy? Are there some Flash animations that do that? If so, please share in the comments. Maybe I’m just missing all the good ones.
Other website irritants:
- Autoplay of website video or audio. Arrgh! This drives me away from a site almost instantly, muttering to myself as I exit.
It was bad enough years ago, when we were merely subjected to somebody’s favorite New Age tune. Now they’re inevitably a promotional video or audio hyping something. Or a pointless “Hi, thanks for visiting my stupid website.” Yeah, I know there’s a STOP button — somewhere. But why should I have to bother hunting for it? Like most Web surfers, I’m lazy. I don’t wanna look for it. I know exactly where the BACK button is. I’ll just click that instead.
Look, if you want to add audio or video to your site, go ahead. But let the visitor decide whether to play it.
- Header is too big. OK, this is nowhere near as annoying as the first two. But the headline is the single most important element of any company Web page. It has to “hook” the visitor’s interest so they keep reading and, you know, eventually buy something. A supersized header can push your headline too low. Don’t make them scroll down or hunt for the benefits your business delivers.
- Splash pages. OMG, do we even have to discuss these anymore? Splash pages are so 1998. If your website already has one (yes, even one with way-cool Flash animation), fire your Web designer. If your new designer suggests adding one, run – don’t walk — the other way.
OK, your turn. Do you agree with me, or do you think I’m clueless? (I’m already bracing for the howls from Flash fanatics.) Which website irritants did I miss?
Go on, bring it. Wail on me in the comments.