Website features that ruins user experience

We are calling them minimal annoyances, as some people might not be bothered by these quirks, but we cannot let these practices go unnoticed.

Warning: These are our own opinions on bad website user experience features. If you do not agree, that is fine. If you do agree, that is also fine.

Too many animations and effects

Spicing up a website is not a bad thing.

Micro-interactions are a perfect example of this; toggled buttons let users know that it has been selected, sliding transitions from one website page to another is neater, and pop-out navigation bars keep them tucked away until needed. They have a purpose.

They are a pleasant addition to the user’s experience to help with improving usability. If you’re interested in learning more about Micro-interactions, we’ve explained how they’re useful for website and user interactions!

Unfortunately, some businesses live by the ‘animation or nothing’ status.

This not only has a serious impact on your web page speed analytics, but these slow page loads can negatively affect your user experience if they are not scaled or coded appropriately.

Slow page = high % Bounce rate.

The key to website animation is moderation to ensure you build a functional, user focused website. Animations need a purpose and should not distract users from important information or completing tasks such as CTA’s.

Background videos

As mentioned before, visual content has the power to grab our attention almost immediately. Website visitors notice moving images from the moment they land on a page. From GIF’s to full product promotions; you can have it all.

There are the many that are executed well, and there are the few who believe that playing a video over actual information is a good idea. Not only is it annoying when part of the video colour matches the text (so you literally cannot read the content), but as mentioned before, video captures attention so users will be confused on where to look.

Distraction 101: Place a video behind text.

Loud Audio Auto Play

Videos have the ability to grab attention almost immediately, thanks to the perfect combination of movement, sound, and picture. Using video to showcase products, services, tutorials, DIY and knowledge-based clips can be far more helpful than reading text.

Just because it is more engaging, it doesn’t mean I want it to be played to me straight away at full blimmin’ volume.

Even if it is not set to the loudest volume, auto playing sensitive or *personal* information, like a video about medicinal options for an ingrown hair, in public is quite embarrassing. Not the reaction you would like from your visitors as they will definitely back off that page to get away from the auto play and just kills the users overall experience on your website.

If videos are crucial for conversions, focus on designing the web page which focuses on the video to encourage them to press play. Just please, do not scare them with auto play.

Long… logins

Split logins

Google, Amazon and Gmail have split the email sign-in process so that it is a two-step process instead of a single one.

Google claims it reduces confusion among people who have multiple accounts, but it just takes longer to complete as it is now separated on two pages, for both single and multiple account owners.

Plus, the split pages wreaked havoc on auto-fill password managers who could no longer automatically fill out form information or sign you in anymore. Some have been re-programmed to take the new flow into account, such as LastPass and KeePass, but there are still many password managers that has not taken these functionalities on board as yet.

Finally, if you are a keyboard warrior who uses the ‘tab-key’ to switch between fields to login, it is just more, unnecessary arm movement to reach the mouse, click, then back to the keyboard. Very minor annoyance, ugh.

No Guests Allowed

Checkout with and without Guest options.

Source: GoProtoz

It seems as if nearly every website out there asks you to “sign up” or “sign in” — No one wants to create yet another account unless there is a clear benefit.

For a one-time purchase, being faced with the option to only sign-up is a barrier, and barriers annoy shoppers. Guest checkouts removes this barrier, so more people are willing complete their order. And in 2018, a survey was held by Baymard which shows over a third of these shoppers questioned, that signing up wasn’t what they wanted, so they left.

Shoppers are also very wary with who they share their personal data with, and although they might like the products enough to buy, they are not willing to allow many businesses to keep hold of their data.

Of course, getting users to sign-up for your site results in simpler returns, exchanges, and refunds, along with providing memberships, bookings, courses, groups and digital downloads, then a sign-up is easiest for customer care. However, if not necessary, then don’t force customers to sign-up.

If you are only providing a ‘sign-up’ option, you’re going to gain some abandon carts.

On Load Overlays

People don’t like pop-ups and modals.

Showing pop-ups before the main content loads is a big turn off. Immediate popups on websites are too common, and users now tend to ignore them or immediately look for the ‘X’ to return to their task.

Google Chrome has already taken a stand against intrusive pop-up adverts in 2018, but this hasn’t stopped some businesses.

No matter how ‘user friendly’ a pop-up is, it can still be a bad website user experience. When was the last time you visited a website, and wanted a sign-up form thrown in your face?

Rather than intrude visitor screens, practice social distancing online with better methods of sharing information through website design. Or, ask a digital agency for their opinion.

Password, please?

We have all been forced to do it. You will need to create a password; with at least 12 characters, 4 numbers, 1 special character, and maybe an uppercase letter.

For data protection and security reasons, we deal with it. But it is bloody annoying.

Telling me my password is ‘weak’ is patronizing enough, but some websites even refuse to accept the ‘weak’ passwords and resulting in a password never to be remembered again.

Back in 2003, National Institute of Standards and Technology manager Bill Burr, claimed that these types of mis-matched characters would help your logins remain secure against hackers, along with regular password changes.

Fourteen years later, Bill Burr has now apologised. He admits he had little knowledge on passwords at the time he wrote the manual and the knowledge he did have was from a white paper written in the 1980s, years before the web was even invented.

The comic strip shows a computer taking up to 550 days to guess a simple four-letter password, while only 3 days are taken for a long, jumbled character password.

If you are building a website or creating your next password, do not opt for gibberish words like Bill.

What’ya hiding?

Users visit a website because they want to complete a task. Most of the time, their answer won’t be on the home page, so they need to dig deeper into the website.

But some designers think its funny to play hide and seek with the navigation menu, or supply too many options. These, our lovely readers, are not good user experience practices.

When a website visitor is faced with a navigation bar with many options, you are essentially forcing them to read all of the options until they eventually find the content they are looking for. It’s annoying.

Just as annoying is not being able to find the content you’re looking for. Websites hold a generic layout for a navigation path, and this is what users know to move through a website an find the right information. Placing content in irregular, or unusual places to be ‘quirky’ or ‘off-the-wall’ creates unnecessary confusion, resulting in frustrated visitors who will leave your website. Ouch.

Don’t be these guys

As stated at the beginning, these are our own opinions and views on website and development trends that we find annoying and are culprits of bad website user experiences. If you do not practice any of these on your website, then that is good! If you do, then we think you should send us an email to talk about improving your Website User Experience: hey@bravelittletank.com.