What not to do on your website

Or how to make me never come back.

Like other billions of times in the past (and I’m obviously not exagerrating) I just googled a very simple question and clicked on a link that seemed decent. And like many other times in the past I anded up on a website that I likely will not visit again, ever.

I would be willing to bet that many smarter people have already contributed to this topic, and a lot of them are more entertaining than me, but I just had to share something. There are a few very simple things that you can do to make me (and many others) never come back to your website. Quora.com just found one of them.

Experts-exchange is pretty famous for this one, and rightfully so. It seems like a basic Q&A site, but you don’t actually get to see the answers without registering. It also says you get a free trial, which makes me think that it will cost money after the 30 days. But I just never actually went to check it out because I can probably get better answers on a different site.

So now Quora.com pops up and I had never heard of the site before and is also asking me to register, or sign in with facebook. And the first thing I look for is literally the back button. I don’t spend another 3 seconds on the site checking out the features or whether or not it would be worth it. Although I do spend an hour writing a rant about it.

So since we now beat that specific problem to death, what are some other things that make me run from a website. Giant overlays are clearly at the top of the list. If you give me a full page overlay that doesn’t let me see the website there’s a good chance I’m gone by the time it finishes loading. If it’s an advertisement it’s probably even worse. Page load time finishes the trifecta. If it’s a full page advertisement that takes seconds to load I likely won’t see it because I’ll be long gone. Banners and ad blocks would be another, although fairly minor issue. If I do have to read something fairly long and I can’t focus on the text because something keeps blinking or moving on the side or top I might just get away. I do have advertising on this site, and I really wish I could tell google to only display text ads (But I would sell ad space if you have a non obnoxious ad you want to place !). And with that we have reached the obvious. If I get nauseated looking at your site I’ll probably leave, but colors and fonts aren’t actually that important as long as it’s fairly legible.

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