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How to Annoy Your Website Visitors

Posted on April 7, 2017

Websites are important for businesses because they offer a way to sell a product or service, as well as a way to connect the company directly to the people who may be interested in what they have to offer.  There are many gimmicks that we see business owners adding to their websites in their quest to convert more users or appear “more engaging.”  Make no mistake… the items listed below will lead to certain doom if you are caught using them!

Auto-Playing Music

There is nothing more terrifying than navigating to a website and immediately hearing music play. Stop doing this to your visitors! It doesn’t matter if you present an option to disable the music; it should not be playing in the first place. Having annoyingly loud music on any page, is a surefire way to watch your bounce rate skyrocket.  As a simple demonstration, turn your speakers on and follow this link: http://nyanit.com/torxmedia.com.


Sometimes people forget what year it is; 100% of those people are still using Flash on their webpage. The problems with using Flash are that it is slow, not supported on mobile devices, and comprised of numerous security holes that can only be matched by a block of swiss cheese.  For people who are blind or lack motor skills, they may not even be able to use a flash. Now doesn’t that make you feel bad for even considering using it? Google also hates Flash because those particular webpages can not be indexed, contextualized, or searched. And that is bad news if you want to rank decently on any search engine.

Disabling Right-Click

Many art-related sites are guilty of disabling the right-click functionality. They do this to “prevent” people from downloading copies of images or other content on their site. The sad part about doing this is that there are plenty of reasons why someone might need to perform a right-click, whether it is to translate the page, zoom in, or any number of other functions. You may feel powerful because you disabled right-clicking, but the truth is that it is actually really easy to bypass by disabling Javascript or using the browser’s built-in web tools.

Hard-To-Read Typography

This is probably really hard to read right? It isn’t a good idea to use a font this small on a website.

The sentence above is really difficult to read. Who would ever use a font that small, right? Sadly it happens far more than you think, and it is a big problem. Small text isn’t the only issue however; contrast is just as important, and a lack of it can lead to impossible-to-read text. Green text on a red background is also a bad idea because colorblind individuals can’t read it either. Blame Santa Claus for that overused color combination.

Inconsistency In Design / Not Following Design Best Practices

Another easy way to make your visitors frustrated is to make every single page on your website look completely different.  Website visitors are pretty quick to notice interface patterns, and when you move around your navigation, page structure, and content formatting, it can have profound consequences. Jakob’s Law of the Web User Experience postulates that most of your visitors spend the majority of their time on other websites. So when you deviate from best design practices, it becomes difficult to use your website. Sure it might look cool to use your kitten in place of the mobile menu “hamburger” icon, but who is going to know that Mr.Meowingtons is a menu button when it looks nothing like any of the icons we are accustomed to?

Terrible Stock Photos

This is one no-no that we think most of us have experienced at least once: poorly chosen stock photography. Nothing says, “I hate everyone who visits my website,” like a cliche photo of a group of people fake-smiling in staged business situations.  And it never helps when the image itself is out of context in the first place. If you are selling toasters, you don’t need to have a picture of an alpaca next to a detailed description of your toaster line.

Interstitial Pop-ups / Pop-up Ads

Perhaps the most evil, vile, and loathsome element that can be used is the pop-up ad. Nothing is more heinous than forcing every single user to pause in the middle of reading to frantically attempt to close your pop-up window via that always-too-tiny close button. Website visitors like to be in control of their devices, and when you shove a pop-up in their faces when they are in the middle of reading your article, they become very unhappy.

You may be wondering why online stores or other big name websites have these pop-ups. There are certainly times when they make sense to use, but it is all about the execution. More often than not, there isn’t enough research performed to really determine the right way to use them. They can be a great tool when used sparingly, but pop-ups are almost always overused.

Do No Evil

Torx makes sure to avoid using the above annoyances at all costs. We want all of our clients and partners to have websites that perform optimally and that make website visitors happy. If you have questions or comments about website annoyances and anything else related to website design and development, contact us here or give us a call at 804-577-8679!


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