Studies show that it takes only about 50 milliseconds for a visitor to form an opinion about the visual design of your website. Since I spend the majority of my day judging the layout of my sites in a grid down to the pixel and trying to figure out how to make them more usable for the customer, I feel like I’m more irritable about bad practices in web design. Here are my top 5 website pet peeves. If you’re doing this, quit it.
5. Too Much Content: Adding a whole bunch of content to your site will distract from what you’re trying to get across to your reader. Resist the need to add information to fill up white space, and only put what you need. Don’t make your site look like this.
4. Hard to read text: Are you putting dark text one a dark background? Can I not figure out what your fancy scroll text says? Typography should be interesting AND readable. Example of good use of typography? Here.
3. Bad Usability: If it’s not clear to your user what path they should take, or you’ve made it impossible for them to take that path, then they wont get to where you want them to go. Also, use a navigation in shopping carts. I’d love to know if I’m filling out 2 pages of information, or 10 before I actually purchase. Side note: go to www.dontclick.it to see a site experiment where you don’t navigate by clicking. Pretty cool, or potential nightmare?
2. Music: I don’t care if Justin Timberlake bought MySpace–it’s dead. If your music starts playing over the music I’m already listening to, I will never forgive you.
1. <blink> or sparkling GIFs: This is the holey grail of worse website practices. It’s the equivalent of getting one of this. Do you want to use used-car salesmen tactics?