As a business owner, you’ll want to take every possible care to ensure that people aren’t just leaving your website within seconds of landing on it due to factors that you actually have control over. Nonetheless, bad web design practices remain woefully common, despite them being the bane of Internet users everywhere. Following are five of the most common among these annoyances:
1. Autoplay Video or Audio
Imagine that you’re quietly minding your own business surfing the Web when, suddenly, you land on a website which loudly plays some video or audio, perhaps even alerting anyone else in the room as to what you’re doing in the process. Autoplay media content is grotesquely intrusive and obnoxious, even if it’s not promotional in nature. If people want to play something, then they’ll press play.
2. Tedious Online Forms
Have you ever heard anyone tell you that they actually like completing forms? No, most likely not. Filling out forms online is often an even more frustrating experience, particularly among mobile users who have to contend with tiny touchscreens and virtual keyboards. Forms might be an unavoidable necessity in certain cases, such as checkout processes but, for the sanity of your audience, you must keep them as simple as possible and keep the information required to an absolute minimum.
3. Intrusive Advertising
One of the most common reasons for people to leave a website, intrusive advertising is, unfortunately, everywhere, including on some popular mainstream websites. While advertising is fine on certain websites, it should be kept visible without interrupting the user. Things like gateway pages, center-page advertisements and pop-ups are definitely to be avoided, since all they do is distract and annoy your visitors to the extent that many of them will leave and never look back.
4. Poor Mobile Performance
Most Web traffic is now mobile, meaning that people are now more likely to surf the Internet using the small screen. However, the small screen has its obvious limitations, so optimizing your website for smaller displays is essential if you don’t want to miss out on an enormous amount of potential traffic. What’s more is that poor mobile performance and a lack of mobile-friendly optimization can also significantly hurt your standing in mobile search results.
5. Overused Stock Photos
Generic, overused and clichéd stock photos do nothing to complement your website and help increase conversions. They look like exactly what they are, and they will only detract from the authenticity of your website. Stock photos might have their place in certain scenarios, but they do not help you tell the unique story behind your business or create a personable, humanized brand. Instead, go for genuine images of the real people and places behind your brand.
For any business Web designer, the very first priority should be user experience. A speedy and easily navigable website that sticks to tried-and-tested standards and offers excellent content is where success lies. Advertising is fine on certain websites too, but it should never detract from user experience. After all, when it comes to making a good impression, every pixel and every letter counts.