5 Website Annoyances That Need To Go Away

Jan 26th, 2015

It’s 2015, and the World Wide Web is all grown up. Or has it?

Over the past 20+ years, companies and people have spent and are still spending a lot of time and money designing and developing websites, and one would think that by now there is enough information and research available on how to do it right, what to do and – even more important – what not to do.
(Bonus points if you remember the ‹marquee› tag)

Still, there are annoyances that simply won’t go away. People are still using and implementing them.
Maybe because they don’t know how to change or fix them, or maybe because they firmly believe in them. Whichever it is, here’s my list of “technologies” and other things on the WWW that simply deserve to die. Now.

1) Flash

Flash has been dead for years now (or, in my opinion, it never really was alive). Accept it.
Flash does not work on mobile devices.
Flash does not add to, but decrease (or nullify) the “user experience”.
Surprisingly enough there are way too many websites out there with either Flash splash pages, Flash sliders or any other kind of Flash integration on them.

Website Annoyances - Keep Calm & Stop Using Flash

2) Auto-Play Videos Or Sound Files

That includes background sound on websites.
Whoever thought (or thinks) this is a good idea, should be forced to use the internet in a public place with speaker volume turned all the way up and via a 28.8K modem connection.

3) PopUp Windows On Entry

I don’t even know what your site is about yet and you already want me to sign up for your super-special or your newsletter?
Now I will never find out and I will never come back.

4) PopUp Windows When Leaving

Including PopUp Windows on hover, when accessing a different tab, or generally any mouse movement within and on the page.
If I had wanted to stay, I would have stayed.

5) (PopUp) Forced Sign Up To View/Access The Site (Without Warning)

A sure way to not gain customers but turn them away immediately.
If your offer(s) and products are that great, I will make the conscious decision to sign up for your newsletter. Or buy something.
And if I make a purchase, you get my email address anyways.
But no matter how great your TV commercials are (you know who you are!), I will not ever give you my email address right away – without even knowing if your product selection, your prices or your whole website appeal to me.

Note: This does not apply to “paywall” sites like the New York Times. They give you ample warning and – very important – a choice.

Are there any particular “features” that make you want to pull your hair out?
Let us know in the comments!
About the author:

Nina Khoury is a computer scientist, software engineer, data and information junkie and online marketer. She taught at various universities for more than six years and worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies including cisco, Intel and HP.

10 Responses to “5 Website Annoyances That Need To Go Away”

  1. You had me at three of the five being about crappy pop-ups. Thank you. :)

    If anything, I would add non-responsive site design, and making it really hard to share content. You’ve created it – why make it difficult for it to be found?


    • Nina says:

      I agree with both of your additions, Danny!
      Not being able to share content properly is probably my bigger issue.
      Many times -while sharing buttons are present – the implementation is poor; e.g. no images are being pulled from the URL, or title and description are missing….

  2. geoio says:

    I wonder why www is still used in most website URLs. Can anybody tell the reasons? For me www is useless, it only makes the URL longer.

  3. Haliya says:

    Hopefully it’s never been this bad, but you still may have picked up a toolbar or two in your travels. Toolbars have been synonymous with junk for a long time, and with good reason.

  4. OMG! This post is hilarious! And also gets me thinking of all the times these things have happened to me and how angry I got!

    I hate the auto-playing videos. What’s worse is the auto-playing video ADS! Like, hello! I have other browsers open and my own music playing… thanks for interrupting that.

    Another thing that bothers me is similar to your #5 – when websites require you to create an account on their site before you can leave a comment. I think yahoo is like this. And it has a glitch with the system so I can’t even sign up and leave a comment.

    But, the gateway free content is the worst. Especially when that company then uses your personal details to cold call you on their services. If you’ve read my post, you’ll know what I’m talking about: http://www.emspace.ca/5-hints-cold-calls-arent-productive/

    Thanks for the laugh!

  5. Flip says:

    yes. and it only seems to be getting worse. HTML is a really great technology. Text articles should use simple HTML. They can still have ads and lots of links to other articles on the site. Web developers should respect the cpu cycles of the people visiting their pages. Not everyone has blazing fast internet and top of the line hardware.

  6. Nice post. I want to add one more thing to this list. It is browser hijacker software installed automatically and changed our browser homepage and some other things.

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