Is This Common Website Design Mistake Driving People Away from Your Website?

LED throwies chaosThere’s a marketing guru whose blog I used to read quite often.  I like his posts, but I can’t stand to read them any longer. His website design is driving people away.

His content is great, but he’s got a thing for bright, shiny toys – and kept adding more and more widgets, ads, and popups – to the point where I couldn’t read his blog any longer.  It gave me a headache.  I did keep my subscription to his newsletter though (because that stood still).

Well, today I clicked on a link back to his site – and voila! he’s fixed it.  Still some blinking and moving, but much, much better. So now I can read his blog again.

Does your website do the same?  Are you driving people away with your addiction to “shiny toy syndrome”?

It doesn’t matter how great your content is, or how skilled you are, if the visitors to your site can’t use it.

Videos, popovers, popunders, hello bars, and subscription requests can all be useful and helpful additions to a website.  But not when they overwhelm your visitors. Or worse, when the video plays automatically, the popover covers the page, or readers have to fight their way through a thicket of ads/popups/subscription requests, and videos just to read the first words on the page.

I just looked at another site that greeted me with a popup (asking me to subscribe to their blog.  That was layered on top of another popup for an ebook.  There was another subscription request (for the same ebook) in the right sidebar.  Plus, a long list of sharing icons on the left.

I haven’t read one word of the article yet, and already they want me to make a long-term commitment. Nope.

Take a step back. Think about the user experience.  Then cut back on some of those blinky flashy lights and shiny new toys.

Your readers will thank you.



6 thoughts on “Is This Common Website Design Mistake Driving People Away from Your Website?

  1. Nothing drives me away from a website/blog faster than a page that wants to direct my attention from the reason I came to the page. (flashing anything, more ads than content, etc.)

    • That’s exactly why I stopped reading that particular blog. I only went back because the link said it was an article on another site (guess he coded it wrong or something).

  2. Yes, jangling whirligigs only deter you from the message. And I also loathe a site that plays music immediately (awful when you’ve got your speakers turned up), often without an obvious way to make it stop.

  3. Typically three column blogs drive me away – but that’s because they’re usually done in the loud colors, blinking things fashion. I never noticed that your blog, Jodi, was three columns until I started writing this comment!

    • Oh, I hate when things blink and flash at me. That and when there’s a “wait, don’t leave now” popup (or the back button is disabled).

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