When creating an online presence, it’s so important to make a good impression instantly. New and constant content overwhelms the online community on a daily basis. Therefore, online community members tend to spend only moments to decide if they want to invest time reading or looking at something online. When it comes to websites, there are definitely some pet peeves that are popular among people who browse the internet on a daily basis. If you’re in the process of designing a new website, looking to refresh your existing, or just looking for some general tips, here is our list of what NOT to do. What are things that bother consumers on websites?

Slow to Load:

If your website is slow to load, this could be deterring visitors from staying on your website. People are impatient online, and if a website takes too long to load, they’ll move on to a different website (that loads quickly). Look into how much content and what kind of content you have on your pages. For instance, do you have a lot of hi-definition videos on your site? What service is hosting your website? Is your code clean?

Immediate & Irrelevant pop-ups:

Users dislike when they go to a website and are immediately bombarded with a pop-up. They also dislike when the pop-ups are not relevant or exciting. Incorporate pop-ups on your site when necessary (ie a big product announcement, a big sale or promotion, etc.). And, when you set up a pop-up, set the time on it accordingly in order to give your users a little bit of time to see your home page before allowing the pop-up to appear.

Infinite Scrolling:

Do users have to scroll and scroll and scroll to see all of the content on your page? This can become a problem. Again, people are impatient, and the more effort it takes for them to find what they’re looking for, the higher chance they’ll give up and move on to the next site. Re-evaluate your page content. Is there anything you could take out or simplify? Is there anything you can take and break off into another page (though, watch you don’t have too many pages on your website)? Or, if you need your page to be that long, include buttons or tabs at the top of the page so users can click on it, and they will be directed down to the section of the page they’re looking for.

Complex Navigation:

Have you ever gone to a website and hovered over a navigation menu, and been overwhelmed just by how many pages, sub-pages, or even sub-sub-pages there are? Try to avoid having a complex navigation. The key to a good user experience is ease of use.

Auto-playing video with sound (or music):

Ever been in a public place and go to a website that starts blasting background music, or a video with sound? If you have an autoplay video, make sure it is silent. Or, make sure to set it to silence with the option of the user turning on the volume.

Hard-to-read fonts & color choices:

When designing a website, make sure the fonts you choose and the color combinations you select have good contrast and good readability. Too much reversed out type can be hard on the eyes in certain instances, and bad contrasting colors can make readability nearly impossible (for instance, white type on a light yellow background). However, a new wave of “dark mode” design showing reversed out type with just enough contrast/reversed type is actually good for looking at designs at night or in the dark. Try to use Twitter in “Dark Mode” – notice the white type on the slate gray/blue is just enough reversed out contrast that actually makes it easier to read in dark-lit areas. The easier it is for a visitor to read what you have to say, the longer they will likely stay on your site. Google Fonts has an expansive collection of web-friendly fonts in a variety of styles.

No Search Box:

If your website sells a variety of products or has a lot of searchable content, definitely make sure to incorporate a search box on your site. A website without a search box can be frustrating for users, who will find themselves either clicking/scrolling through your web pages, or leaving out of frustration.