We all have a mental list of things that bother us about websites; things that send us scrambling to another site. The web is huge, competition is fierce and the best thing a webmaster can do is to adhere to the KISS principle. (KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID). Users of the Intuit-Homestead SiteBuilder program to design sites need an awareness of what does and doesn’t work on the web.
Here is my list of 5 things that send me clicking out of a site as fast as I can:
- Websites that have entry pages. You know the kind I mean … A splashy landing page that has no info and may or may not have an obvious place to click on to enter. These webmasters have forgotten rule #1 – KISS because your competition is only a click away. Give the visitor what they are looking for immediately when they land on your site. Entry pages aren’t on good terms with Search Engines and search engine optimization so that is another consideration if you find yourself tempted.
- Ok so how much does it cost? E commerce sites that don’t have the cost of the product WITH the product are no doubt losing paying customers. I see sites all the time that show a product, but you have to click a link or an image to go to another page that shows the price. Remember we’re still in KISS mode here. The more complicated you make the process the less apt you are to sell the product or service.
- Those dang scrolling images in headers. Seriously? Do you really think a visitor is going to sit there staring at the screen watching that? Not only does it add weight to the page, but it’s a distraction. A nice static image can convey the idea, not annoy the visitor and doesn’t add a great deal to the load time of a page. Your visitor came to your site with a purpose and generally people on the web are pretty focused on what they want. Toss in a scrolling anything and you break their focus.
- The ‘talking heads’… talk about distraction!! Very few of those are done well and none of them, in my opinion, add anything of value to a site. I was on a law site the other day and the ‘head’ was actually a full figure of the attorney yapping away. Annoying, but it got worse … as you scrolled down the page the attorney followed along still yapping. When I hit a site that has one of these ‘yappers’ I’m out of there in a heartbeat.
- Large websites that don’t offer either a Site Map page or internal search function or both. It’s so easy to get lost in the labyrinth of a large site and who wants to spend a lot of time ferreting out information.
What’s on your list?