photo by Lunchbox Photography
Do you want people to visit your website? Of course you do.
Do you want people to come back time after time? Of course you do.
Then you want to do everything possible to make each visit pleasant (and informative) so that they will be eager to return.
But, if your website has any of these annoying features, then you decrease the chance that visitors will want to return to your website.
1 – Splash screen
I come to your website to accomplish some goal or to see particular content. If your website opens and then immediately displays a splash screen with a special offer, you have distracted me. Even if the offer is one that I might be interested in, that’s not why I’m there right now.
To get to your real content, I have to close the splash screen. What if later I want to consider that special offer? It’s gone. I closed the splash screen and the offer went away.
You have great content. Why put a barrier between it and me?
You have a good offer. Why give me only one chance to grab it?
2 – Closing splash screen
I’ve accomplished what I came for. I’m ready to leave your site. But you don’t want me to leave. So you throw up a splash screen offering one last chance to buy your stuff. Or an offer to sign up for your newsletter.
You’ve just made me feel like I’m at the used car lot with a salesman who refuses to let go. It feels very spammy. Don’t do it.
3 – Flashing things
Why can’t surfing your site be a calm experience? I don’t need images that are rotating or constantly changing for no apparent benefit. And you know what? It doesn’t matter to me if the moving content is from you or one of your advertisers. It all looks the same to me. It’s all equally distracting.
I have a special name for images that move for no reason – Dancing Baloney.
When I leave your site I’ll be thinking, “That place is full of Dancing Baloney.”
Is that what you want?
4 – Auto play sound or video
Sometimes the first hint I have that your site contains audio is when it starts blasting in my ears. Please consider that I may be in circumstances where that blast of sound is most unwelcome. In the library. At work. Sitting close to someone who is trying to rest.
It could be that I’ve come to your site to see a video or hear music. Even so, please let me control when the action starts.
5 – Hidden volume control button
In case you were wondering, you can get extra credit for the auto play sound nuisance. It’s really easy. Hide the volume control button.
Honestly, there is nothing I like better than searching for that button.
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Do you have a pet peeve to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.