This week, e-consultancy published a list of reasons why someone would leave your website in 10 seconds, it could also have been entitled “Pet hates of website design”. Although I agree with everything on the list, I thought I would draw out those most relevant to our readers. Here are my top 6 :
1. Sketchy contact links
In our world, your website is a marketing tool, and as such it should make it as easy as possible to make contact, and the options for making contact should be varied. Contact page should include email, phone, address and contact form options, and where appropriate, a map. In addition, I believe that it is good practice to put basic contact links in the header or footer so that they appear on every page. Making it difficult to find contact details is a real no no in my book!
2. Sign up to our newsletter pop-ups
This is really the flip-side of the “Sketchy contact links” crime. Some sites are so keen to get to know you better that they will pop up a “Sign up for our newsletter” or “Want to chat” popup within seconds of you visiting a site. These can both be useful features of a website, but you should allow people to make their own choices. Make the links to these features obvious & easy to find, and by all means pop them up in a corner of the site if a user spends a significant amount of time on the site, or maybe as they go to leave, but leave it up to the visitor whether they use them. Think of the last time you went to a shop and had an assistant on the door pounce on you as you try to enter, not very user friendly!
3. Survey pop-ups
Yes surveys are important, but I find that having them pop up on a site and forcing people to either fill them in or cancel them is just pain irritating. You are saying “My need for information is so important I am happy to butt in to your day and demand it”. Again, it would be like the shop assistant stepping in front of you as you are browsing, and saying “Hi, will you fill in a survey please”. VERY irritating. If you want people to complete a survey, invite them to do so via email, or via engaging content in the body of your site. By all means give them an incentive, but make sure that they can do it on their terms.
4. Websites that disable copy & paste
For anyone who does this I would say, please don’t! Firstly it is very irritating, and secondly it is pointless. If I want to copy content of a site I can do it, disabling copy and past will slow me down for about 5 seconds. Alternatively, why not encourage people to use content from your site, but ask them to reference the source, this way you can get some great, high quality links into your site, and if people plagiarise your site without referencing it or breach copyright, then take them to task, but its futile & irritating to try to stop people copying & pasting.
5. Stock images in place of real staff
Why do people do this? It is so obvious when they do, and a real turn off.
6. Sites which don’t date blog/news posts
There is a lot of content available on the internet now, and much of it is quite old. It is therefore important to know how up to date a piece of information is (especially when researching web/technology related subjects), so content that does not have a date attached becomes much less trustworthy. The other reason why this would put me off a site is that there is only one real reason for not dating posts on your news feed, and that is that you are not planning to keep it up to date! If you want to read the full list of “22 more reasons why I’ll leave your website in 10 seconds” you will find it on e-consultancy