It is just strange that there are still so many pages with horrible webdesign online. Well, at least it inspired me to publish a list of my “favourite” (or better said: “most annoying”) user experience nightmares. Please also check the references to other webdesign-experienced bloggers that have a similar point of view:
Bad contrast of text and background
Unsolicited eyesight tests will not really amuse the users! Especially pay attention with text on backgrounds with image! If the image has to many different colours you will have to either soften the contrast of the background or use fonts with frame.
BTW: Black text on white background is still up to date, if you want to be on the safe side – more at thomsonchemmanoor.com
Framesets are just a funny thing to do… – but an absolutely nightmare for Usability and SEO. Learn more at Sameer Chavan’s blog
Heavy video intros
That is exactly what web users are looking for… slowly loading fancy intro videos, especially if there is no skip button… – Web users are always in a hurry and unexpected video-surprises might lead to loose the visitor. see more at chaosscenario.com
Hidden Sign in
Your users need to sign in to perform actions in my site? If they really want to sign in they do not mind searching the sign in link… – Users will very likely not like to search for this buttons | see more about mistakes related to registration process at uie.com
Tiny clickable areas
Don´t save space at the wrong place! – more at smashingmagazine.com
PDF for Online reading
PDFs are great! Why should I only use them for downloads, if I can replace major content parts with it? – Please only use it for content that is supposed to be downloaded or printed by the user, because PDF breaks the flow of the web users. See the older study at useit.com that still is relevant.
Pop-ups for content
Why load a new page or use AJAX, if I can just use a Pop-up? – Pop-ups are just annoying and most browsers anyway just block pop-ups by default…
Unstructured, unscannable texts
Why use bullet points, bold text etc. to structure your text, if you can just put big fat and boring text blocks? – If users can´t scan your website quickly they won´t read it.
More is always better, so the more stuff I can put on a website the better it is… – Your website usability will suffer if your site contains lots of useless features and contents that distract the users.
Horizontal scroll bar
Why should I care about width if I can have a horizontal scroll bar? – It is just unconfortable to scroll horizontal and makes it very hard to read your content. Usability fail!
It is very important, so it has to blink! – Blinking text gets very quickly on user´s nerves, doesn´t it? (Sorry for the blinking text, that was just for demo purpose)
Forcing users to switch their browser
I don´t want to take care about all Browsers and i why not use superfancy special tags that only my favorite browser understands? – Imagine a street with a sign “only cars by BMW allowed”.
Too many and too big pictures used
I just love pics! – But too many pics reduce the speed of the site and can distract the users.
Unnecessary use of animated gifs, flash or Java Applets
Yep, I know how to do and implement this in websites, so why not show it as much as i can? – Please only add this if there is no other way to do it, don´t add unnecessary komplexity to your site.
“Mysterious” link texts
People like surprises… – Users should have an idea where the link goes and search engines take a look at the keywords used in the anchor text.
Please let me know what your most annoying usability mistakes are and leave a comment.