by Nancy Seeger
Ever go to a website you’re interested in only to be so irritated or turned off you just leave? Yikes! Unfortunately this happens, and it might even be taking place on your site! Fix these snafus so you’re in the clear!
Website Mistakes That Cause People to Leave
- The Chugger! A website that takes more than three seconds to download is considered slow. We are impatient people; site visitors flee after three seconds. Optimizing images is a good place to start trimming the fat!
- Pop-up Interruptus! You arrive at a website, haven’t even had a chance to read anything and BAM! A pop-up. I asked fellow web designers what most annoys them and this was number one! If using a pop-up, try one that has at least 60 seconds before it starts and if clicked off, remembers that preference.
- Tiny Squinty Text. Many of you just nodded your heads! Tiny text on a website is frustrating and people give up rather than squint. Mobile devices, retina screens, and higher resolution devices mean the old 12 pixels is way too small. Text size should start around 18 pixels, depending on the font. Also think one and a half for line spacing for easy readability.
- Mobile Hostile. Stats are showing mobile usage is over 60%. Desktop only websites are losing out. Site visitors won’t cut your site any slack; they expect it to be easy to use on their device of choice. (Psst – Google ranks for mobile-friendly sites starting April 21.)
- Endless New Tabs. For example, a link goes from yoursite.com to yoursite.com/about and opens in a new tab in your web browser – UGH. I hear this complaint a lot. Save opening of new tab links for those that go outside your website – IF you use the function at all.
- Incognito Contact Info. People will check three places to try to reach you: the last “tab” on a navbar, the copyright footer area, and your actual contact form. On the contact form page, they hope you list your phone number, etc. Not everyone is comfortable with contact forms, so offer multiple ways to connect. When sharing your email address, use an encryption plugin to prevent spam bots harvesting it.
- Shhh – Talking Videos! Auto-play videos with sound are a turnoff. Since a site visitor may be in a shared office, coffee shop, or just checking something while watching TV… a website with sound is highly unwelcome. Videos are not evil, but let them choose when to watch.
Implementing these tips will help keep visitors on your website instead of bolting. For additional help, check out our Web Design Insider Tips.
I’d love to hear what makes you leave websites – comment below!
Nancy Seeger is based just outside of Washington DC in Virginia but still thinks of Michigan, her birth state, as home.
For Nancy, it has always been about the audience. First as a professional musician, then as an orchestra manager learning how to engage the public with marketing campaigns, even when websites were still considered optional.
After leaving orchestras, Nancy realized her passion for web design. She spent two years taking classes to hone her skills while working with her first client, a GRAMMY artist. Currently, Nancy’s web design firm, Arts Assistance, creates sites for a variety of industries. Nancy believes it’s about connecting with the audience and blogs weekly, sharing website tips for businesses. She is a strong advocate of design as part of the marketing toolkit.
When not buried in Photoshop or code, Ms. Seeger thinks being green is buying a fancy espresso machine to cut out daily trips to Starbucks. Because she can’t live on espresso alone, she also loves drinking green smoothies (with her latté of course). Is there any better way to start the day?