5 bad habits to avoid on your website

Website trends come and go - unfortunately, some become bad habits

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<b>Joss Barnes</b>

Joss Barnes

DIRECTOR AT TWISTED SPIRE
Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer

Have you ever gone onto a website which has been so annoying that you have said ‘stuff that’ and bounced straight away or during mid purchase?

I was recently on a popular major retailers website, buying a desk for my daughter to share my home office space.

After adding the selected items into my trolly. A few “do you want fries with that” pop up carousels appeared at the bottom of the screen, displaying what other people have bought with this item.

When I got to the payment screen, things just went from bad to worse; multiple popups, too much irrelevant information requested, and the purchase button was in a very obscure place.

Just as I was about to give up trying to find the button, the virtual assistant popped up, taking over most of the screen.

So I did what any reasonable person would do – shouted at the phone whilst jabbing the screen and abandoned the shopping cart.

For a major retailer, who no doubt spent tens of thousands on a website which gets on average 500,000 visitors a day the designers sure did drop the ball.

How many other people I wonder have abandoned the cart at the end just because they were so damned frustrated with the difficulty of merely paying?

Here are my top five pet hates that annoy me the most and maybe costing you valuable customers.

1. Live Chatbots

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There is a time and a place for live chat, some sites really should have it available (such as a provider which offers call centre support), and some websites shouldn’t. Is it a vital function to have on a cooking recipe website or when you want to check out your trolly?

Don’t let the chat panel pop up continuously, inappropriately or too enthusiastically, especially on mobile phones where it takes up a large chunk of the screen. Website users may be encouraged to angrily prod the screen repeatedly and shout at the phones before bouncing.

2. PopUps

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Popups are great for increasing sales conversions, capturing exit intent, upselling, and numerous other instances. Popups, when used correctly, can help positive engagement and user experience (UX).

The problem with popups arrives when the web designer has been overzealous.
Misused and popups can become annoying. Comparable to a gaggle of high street chuggers, approaching passers-by in the street asking for subscriptions or donations to a particular charity and preventing you from continuing where you want to navigate too.

This ‘in your face’ sales technique is horrid, and when encountered, I instantly move the mouse to the X button in the top right corner. Does anybody else do this?

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3. Video Autoplay

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You’ve just settled the baby down or quietly sat on the train, even worse, in the traps at work (toilet cubicle). Unbeknownst, the volume is still at maximum. Scrolling, you pass a video set to autoplay, before you know it, the sound is blasting out of your phone for all in the vicinity to hear. In a manic frenzy, you scramble to find the X button to shut it down.
Seriously, Is there any valid reason to have autoplay videos?

4. Buttons and Links

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I’ve said it once, and I’ll say once it again, “There are certain things which people expect to see in certain areas of a web site”.
Confuse things by making them flashy and different and, you will be do nothing more than confusing your viewer.

Sure, the design may look fantastic to you, but not necessarily designed with your viewer in mind (the same with content).
If your button or link looks nothing like a button or link – then how is the customer to know what it is?

When designing a button, make it look like one and have it pop out – add some drop-shadow and use a contrasting colour. Humans are creatures of habit and, if you put a button in front of them, they will probably press it.
The same with links, us a blue text colour (or contrasting colour to the rest of the text) and underline it. Users will instinctively know that it is a clickable link without even moving the mouse over it.

5. Slow Speed

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It’s not just Google that hates slow websites your customers do too.
If you have a lot of extensive rendering data, images not optimised and it takes a lifetime to load your page. Viewers are going to bounce in droves.

“Amazon discovered that they were losing $1.6 BILLION in sales for EVERY SECOND delay in loading their page.”

Let’s test your website speed right now, go to Googles page speed tool and enter your website address.
If your website is slower than the preferred maximum of 2-3 seconds, then contact Twisted Spire and, we can see what we can do for you.

At Twisted Spire, we design your website to incorporate what you want to show the customer, together with what your customer wants to see from you, helping both you and your customer to see the information that they most need, which in turn helps to convert viewers into buyers.

Contact Twisted Spire today for your next web design.

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