How To Frustrate Your Visitors

Jan 28, 2009

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Often there are websites that I see that do a very good job at frustrating their visitors. It is really easy to spot these type of websites because of the way they are designed and have their layout. Here are some common mistakes that people do to their websites that frustrate customers.

  1. Use navigation that no one else uses: There is a certain layout that people are use to when they visit websites. For the most part they are either on the top or the left hand side. Some websites like to be different and tricky so they change up their navigations so they are different. The problem with using a navigation that no one else is using means that the visitors are not going to be use to that navigation either so they will get frustrated.
  2. Use confusing labels in the navigation: There are some things that I have seen in navigations that do not make any sense. True it does depend a little on what type of website you are on, but overall using terms that most people will not understand will confuse the visitor even more. Do not think that because it is different that the visitor will click on it because they are curious. Although this might happen they are not in the buying mode.
  3. Use different layouts for each page: I have been on some websites where each page you go to looks different from the previous page. You do not want the visitor to have to relearn the new layout and navigation every time they go to another page within the website.
  4. Do not use a search box: There are a ton of websites that do not have search boxes, WHY? People want to find things faster than they did yesterday. Those who do not offer a search box on their website are guaranteeing to frustrate their customers. Google offers a site search box because they know of the importance of search on a website.
  5. Do not offer a site map: People like maps because they are useful. This is the same as the search box idea. Search engines have completely come out and said it is good for a website to offer a site map to help visitors. 
  6. Have boring or copied content: Internet users are not stupid and they can tell if a website is boring or just copying information from somewhere else.
  7. Use poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation: If you really want to frustrate customers then you will want to have poor grammar and spelling. It is hard to read words that are misspelled and where the grammar is incorrect.
  8. Only talk about you: This is a guaranteed turnoff to visitors. Have you ever been around someone who only likes to talk about themselves and they are their biggest fan. It is Annoying. The same goes for a website. Often I see content where all they do is talk about how great they are and all of their accomplishments etc. They never talk about why I should even care.
  9. Use tiny font: If you want to make it hard for your visitors the best thing you can do is make it hard to read the text.
  10. Only use pictures: People like pictures but they also like to read about what the picture is about. Most people are use to looking at the back side of a picture because they have been trained to see information about the picture.
  11. Make your website take a while to load: This is probably the best thing you can do to frustrate customers.
  12. Use a lot of broken links: Nothing is more frustrating than clicking on links that take you nowhere.
  13. Trick them on your links: Using text on a link that is cool and sending them to a page that is not even remotely close to what the link said is very frustrating.
  14. Make a visitor have to install a lot of plugins to view your site: Some websites make you have to download plugins so that you can see the content. However if you make a visitor have to do this a lot to view different parts of your website you will definitely frustrate them.
  15. Use a lot of videos that take forever to load: Online video is becoming more popular, however there is nothing more frustrating than having to wait a long time for all of the videos on a website to load.
  16. Tell visitors they can only view your website in a certain browser: People like to use their own browsers that they have customized and made the way they want. They do not want to have to use another browser just for one website.
  17. Repeat yourself over and over: This is one of those things that is really frustrating. I have read websites where you read one page and then go to another page and you think you are reading the same content. It is not word for word but it is the same message just written in different ways over and over. 

All of these are things that if you are using them or doing them you are sure to make visitors to your website very frustrated. To make it so your website is user friendly the most important thing to focus on and ask yourself is ” Is this confusing, frustrating, or boring?” If you can honestly answer no to those questions they you have done a good job at making your website user friendly.

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