There are some tried and true methods to make a good website, but making a great website seems to be much more elusive. Greatness in any discipline is a moving target, not just within the web design community. But it seems like everyone is born with the innate ability to make a terrible, irritating, worthless website.
If you too were born with the gift, and you are trying to outgrow it, here are three of the most common reasons why users get ticked off by websites. This info is common knowledge, but it has been verified by USIO who asked 1300 people what annoyed them most about the common website. While the survey saw a lot of different responses, most answers can be reduced to a single three categories.
This one is by far the most popular response for how best to annoy your users. Videos that just start playing (especially the ones that are difficult to find, especially when hidden amidst a browser window full of open tabs) are terrible; everybody knows that.
But pop up windows got even more responses. Users feel assaulted, confused, put on guard. And they really don't like it. The problem is, these things can actually be used well, but this will only happen when they're incorporated strategically.
Some sites use these elements well, by making pop-ups happen only when a user has interacted for several minutes with a piece of content, proving his or her interest. When the pop-up content provides useful information or communication opportunities, it may actually be welcome in these circumstances! Unfortunately, most site builders just kind of throw them in there, at least that's how it seems to users sometimes.
Some websites are just downright confusing. This'll typically happen for a number of predictable reasons. For one, websites get weird when they have very difficult navigation.
Even Google reports that their search bots can't navigate through some sites. Some sites even have pages which aren't able to be accessed through the in-site navigation! That's terrible, and users hate it. Some sites have pages which are dead, which also frustrates and just makes your site look cheap. It's always better to start with a short, succinct site outline, sticking to it even if you feel tempted to throw in the kitchen sink.
With great looking templates and easy to design site building aides out there, there really is no use to have a site that looks like garbage. But some people still find a way, and it's often in the images they choose for their sites. If you are filling your quality site with stock images or pictures that are of dubious quality, it'll just bring the whole quality of your site down a few notches. A website only looks as good as its lowest quality visual element. Don't let that be your images!
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