- Internet & the Web
Bounce Rates High? 10 Irritating Things Your Website Does That Make Me Click Away.
Why? Why Did You Do That?
Bounce rates high on your website? People turning up, taking one look and clicking away in droves? Here are some of the reasons why...
1. It opens a window with an ad in it when I click on a link. Not a relevant ad, just a random, 'What the #?$@& is this?' type ad that distracts me to the point where I can't remember why I clicked on the link.
2. It waits a few seconds after loading - just long enough for me to start reading - then blocks out the page I've started reading with an unwanted invitation to join your mailing list. I know, the people who sold you the plug in that does this say it gets you x percent more sign ups. Know what's easier than signing up? Clicking away and never coming back.
3. Tricky floating stuff that keeps rolling down and distracting me while I'm scrolling down and trying to find the content I'm looking for. It could be your Facebook or Twitter links. It doesn't matter. It's weird and creepy. It's like being followed through a shopping mall by a crazed midget with something on his mind.
What's the best choice for a home page? A Flash intro, a loud and cheery audio file with no off button, or a big flashing headline?
My Computer Is Tired.
The Banshee Shriek Of An Overworked Computer.
4. Advertising blocks with video that take about as much bandwidth as a feature film download, slow my browser to a crawl and make my system box heat up like a pizza oven while the fans shriek like banshees.
5. Advertising blocks that leap out at me with one inadvertent touch of the cursor and cover up what I was trying to read, like a madman shoving an opened newspaper in my face.
6. Spelling and grammar errors. I mean egregious howlers, not the odd copy edit fail. If you make me think 'What?' more than twice, I'm out of there.
The Quiz. Web Design Zero, or Hero?
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7. Pages so loaded with content they keep loading while I'm starting to read what's already loaded. Only I can't, because the text keeps reforming around the new blocks as they turn up and jostle their way onto the page, so the overall effect is of someone throwing newspaper clippings at the monitor screen while an earthquake is happening.
8. Pidgin English. As in, written by someone who's heard English spoken once, but it was at a distance and, you know, there was a lot of other stuff going on. And as long as the keywords are crammed in there, who cares about the meaning, right?
9. Bull%@&#. As in essentially dishonest nonsense about anything. You really make a million dollars a day for twenty minutes work? And I could be doing the same five minutes from now? And I only have to pay a monthly fee? Sign me right up! Or not.
10. Readability issues. As in tiny grey print. Seriously, I may kill you.
Read, And Inwardly Digest.
This beautifully illustrated, full-color book covers the basics to help you develop your eye and produce attractive work.
Five years since it was first published, this is an "instant classic" on Web usability, but people are still discovering it every day. In this second edition, there are three new chapters full of insight and practical advice for readers. It could completely change the way you handle Web design.
Points To Take Away:
- We all know you spent hours building your website because it's supposed to be a way out of the job insecurity trap and the 9 to 5 grind. But we don't care. It's not about you. We come to your site for what we can get. And anything that gets in the way of that - ANYTHING - is bad.
- I stopped watching TV because both the content and the advertising had become so insane it was bringing the killing spree closer every time I turned it on. Don't let that happen to the internet. A little discreet Adsense? Not a problem. Shrieking animated banner ads? Don't.
- It's about the user. It's about the user. It's about the user. Repeat after me. It's not optional. Repeat after me. It's about the user.
Every time you do something for the user, your dream of retiring to a twenty minute work week on a tropical island paradise comes a step closer.
Every time you mess that up with heavy handed attempts to build your list or sell me stuff I don't need or want is like jamming a turd into a bouquet of flowers; ill-advised, out of place, and really, really, not wanted.
Okay. My eye has stopped twitching now. Carry on.