A Few Annoying Things Websites Do (That we never do!)
In the Internet world, there are a lot of things that can turn a user off. People these days are expecting more and more quality, and website speed is one of the biggest issues when it comes to whether or not someone is going to stick around for a while on your web site (as well as one of the many factors of search engine optimization (SEO)). When designing a website there are an infinite amount of things you can to get your visitors to get engaged. There are also many things you can do to get them to click the "back button" almost instantly.
Here is a good article on 12 things that are very annoying when implemented into web design and strategy. In this article the author Shelly Kramer lays it down for 12 definite things to NOT to do when designing your website. We at ImageWorks Studio definitely agree. Below are some of our thoughts on some of the points she makes.
Music is one of the most "Wow I can't believe you would do that to your website" type things out there on the web. There is nothing more frustrating than visiting a website and hearing some off-the-wall music that all of the sudden comes blaring out of your speakers. What's more frustrating is actually taking the time to try to find where the music is coming from if you are thinking about staying on the web site. From a user's standpoint, it is one of the absolute most annoying things that can take place on a website - so if you are thinking about doing this, or implementing, please first think about all of the people that will immediately bounce from your site.
Some flash can be absolutely downright hilarious, and flash is definitely a blast from the past. Before considering putting flash on your website consider the fact that mobile devices and tablets like the iPad are not even compatible with flash! The time of flash is over, and HTML 5 (like video js) is taking its place and is the new wave of video. One of the good things about HTML 5 videos and video players is that it gets indexed very quickly - and you can always use flash as a fall back if you must.
Videos are awesome, but nobody these days wants to see a talking head. Videos should be made with awesome graphics and allow users to learn visually (the point of a video, amirite?), and not just from someone talking in a camera. Now this isn't always the case, there definitely are sometimes you want to use a talking head (or at least audio behind a screen capture), but for the most part you want to use videos that enhance the learning experience with awesome visuals and graphics. Think "Google" when it comes to making videos - because they are always making awesome videos.
Ads. Ads. and more Ads. The Internet marketing world is full of pieces of low quality content covered in Ads. It's simply a cost effective way to make money, and websites all around the web are sporting low quality "content farm" type websites that simply exist to get a few clicks on their Ads. A site that is fully loaded never ending arrays of ads is one of the most unattractive things that a website can do - and it can also make it very difficult to read the available content.
In fact, this can be such a problem that Google has actually changed its algorithm to favor sites that put their ads "below the fold" of the Google AdSense content farms (although this has only affected the worst offenders). Why did Google do this? Because they know that if a site is loaded with ads that it is a bad experience for Internet users.
Social Icons Missing?
Of course there is no reason for every single site on the web to have social icons (not going to get much shares if you run a nuclear intoxication automation physician blog (ok, I made that up)). Sometimes it just doesn't even make sense. But if you are running the type of blog where there is a great possibility that someone might want to share some of the awesome content that you have been writing and you don't have the correct (and now-a-days pretty much required) social icons to push that content around the web, then you are currently missing the boat of obtaining an Internet presence. If you have a blog with avid readers, but no social buttons, then you are missing out on a lot of potential readers because there may be many of your readers that want to share that piece of content but are unable because of your lack to get up to date with the times!
"10 Ways To Eat A Donut While Driving" Syndrome
Or in other words, the "content farm" syndrome. There is so much content that gets generated these days, that a lot of the content on the web (even infographics) gets rehashed over and over again. If you are going to rehash a topic (chances are whatever you are saying has already been said before) at least make sure that you are giving new spins on old ideas and that it is coming from a place that has never been seen before. Every person on this planet is unique, and for that reason every piece of content you write should be unique as well.
Content farms can be useful sometimes (it would be a lie to say about.com has never solved any quick "how-to" problems) and they are here to stay because the business model makes sense. But these types of rehashed articles can simply be hard on the eyes.