Website creation is one of the most fun and intriguing things on the ‘net. There are countless ways to make a website awesome, and some of those ways haven’t even been discovered yet. Website creation, in fact, is one of those art forms that never really stops changing. We still use paintbrushes to paint, but we don’t even use Paint to paint graphics for websites anymore.
The point is that website creation is an art, and just like all art, sometimes people hate a website design. This is often because something annoys them about what you’ve done, and it’s usually not the colors. NN Group took the liberty to do a study on this exact thing and found that ads are actually one of the biggest things that drive people away from websites, no matter how skillfully put together they are.
That might not be surprising, but sometimes it’s something we don’t think about. We think about the colors being soothing and interesting. We think about how the hover links look and what the first thing our customers see is. Sometimes we don’t really think a prompt to join a newsletter or a sidebar ad is going to bug anyone. In theory, I wish that were true. In reality, nothing bugs them more.
However, there are plenty of things to think about when designing a website that you should just stay far away from. Far, far away. Hint: it isn’t just ads, either.
It Isn’t Mobile-Friendly
There is nothing more annoying than visiting a website and having teeny, tiny little text that makes you turn your phone sideways, adjust your glasses, and then click on a link six times until it actually works. I suppose there could be more annoying things, but this is one of the most annoying. In fact, it made so many people disgruntled that Google started reducing the ranking of websites that were not optimized for mobile. These days, if you’re in the middle of website creation and you haven’t considered what it’ll look like on a mobile device, you should take a step back and make that happen – alternatively, you can hire someone to design it for you, or use a template that’s reactive, like many of the ones through WordPress.
Carousels – or Sliders – are In Use
How are you supposed to know if you’re supposed to use a carousel? Easy – visit this lovely website right here.
The truth is, people only click on the first slide 98% of the time (literally), and when you need your website to pass The Blink Test, then slides just take up time, money, and unnecessary amounts of space in a zone that could be used much more constructively. As a bonus, many of these carousels are picture rich, meaning they’ll take forever to load – and the longer something takes to load, the less likely someone will stick around for it. There are interesting, fabulously designed alternatives, though. You can read a little about them on Just In Mind.
Your Website is Slow for Other Reasons
Even if you have a fast-loading carousel, or you don’t have one at all, people will definitely click away from your website if it’s slow. Website creation is a bit of an art in that way; you want it to be catchy and interesting, but you don’t want to make it so flashy that it takes a decade to load. By “decade,” I really mean more than two seconds, according to KISSmetrics. Almost HALF of consumers expect a website to load in two seconds or less. Two seconds. So while three seconds is not very long at all in the grand scheme of things, people feel like it is. Make sure your website loads – and loads quickly.
Cheesy, Strange Stock Images
Listen. Stock photos are actually fine, but super-posed ones that look like this are overrated and a thing of the past, like Geocities sites. While they’re kind of funny and interesting to look at as part of Web History, they…they’re dead. Let them die.
These days, there are a lot of genuine, warm stock images that actually make more sense on your website anyway. Even better, choose images of your own people, doing their jobs. So while the above photo might be someone’s interpretation of “successful business people,” so is this:
And even this:
These people look like they’re actually enjoying their coworkers, and life, and people in general, and not trying to get a date with the camera.
Yes, eventually we got to this final point: pop-ups. Everyone loves putting pop-ups on a website, but no one really likes looking at them. They’ve become so commonplace that people get annoyed by them; personally, I can’t remember the last time I actually read one. They usually prompt someone to join a newsletter for a discount, or just join a community of awesome people who agree with your points or get something free, or what have you.
There is a right way to do a popup if you’re going to do them anyway, but that’s another post entirely (which I promise we’ll explore next week).
For now, just know that your pop-up should be short, sweet, and to the point, and should only appear once when people visit your website. Also, use a pop-up-bar on your mobile website; they’re almost impossible to close on tiny little screens anyway. They look like this:
Remember, a good design and thoughtful website creation can make all the difference when it comes to success of your business, especially if you don’t have a physical location. Take the time and the money to do it right; make good choices; track your results; limit your popups & consult experts (our advice is free, y’know).