I believe that website owners have the responsibility of giving their customers what they want or need once they reach a site. It’s all well and good to drive traffic to your site, but you then need to make sure that you’re offering those users a good experience, or you may well lose them to competitors.
Having a website that isn’t user friendly is the equivalent of getting people into your shop and then annoying them until they give up and leave. A site that is easy to use, and provides customers with what they are looking for, will increase conversion rates resulting in increased sales.
I recently spoke at Hot Source about 10 things I hate about U…X and thought I’d share them.
If the content isn’t ready then don’t send people to the page/website in the first place. When a person lands on a page and gets a message similar to that below there is a good chance that they simply won’t come back and will take their business elsewhere.
2. Drop Down Menus
Two things annoy me with drop down menus. Firstly, a glitchy menu where elements disappear when you move your mouse. Secondly, ‘mega’ drop down menus where there is so much listed it is a case of ‘find the needle in a haystack’. The below example looks more like a wordsearch than a drop down menu!
3. Poor Navigation
Help your user get to the information that they are after. This particular example is creative, but almost unusable. Some of the little circles on the left are the primary source of navigation, but not only do they move about, they provide no indication of destination. Most people don’t have the time, or the inclination, for a bit of online hide and seek. Frankly, hide and people won’t seek!
How does not being able to read some illegible wording prove I’m not a robot? Having to refresh captchas (particularly if it’s to sign up to a newsletter) can be frustrating, and some people will simply give up and go elsewhere.
5. Terms and Conditions
T&C’s are necessary but to what extent? Below are some very lengthy T&CS from the Playmobil site. If I walked into a toy shop to buy a Playmobil product I wouldn’t expect the sales assistant to talk me through half an hour of terms and conditions before allowing me to proceed with my purchase, so why do it to me online?
6. Bad Onsite Search
Help customers find what they need on your website. Providing customers with search functionality on a site can really improve their experience as long as the search box is easy to find and provides customers with relevant information.
7. Splash Pages
Do I want to enter your site? Yes, clearly that is why I have come to your site! You wouldn’t knock on a shop window and ask permission to enter so why make you do the equivalent online? In the below example people can’t enter the website until they have confirmed their age. Putting barriers in the way frustrates customers, not something you want to do before they’ve even started their journey.
8. Forced Registration
Many companies force customers to register with them ahead of being able to make a purchase. Personally, I find it a frustration when I’m in a hurry and want to buy something and find that I have to register first. One such example is ASOS.
I appreciate companies want to collect information on their customers to enable upselling, cross selling and brand loyalty, but personally I think it is better to get the initial relationship going and build on it from there. Insisting on information up front will undoubtedly put some customers off.
9. Ad Overkill
I realise that websites need to make money, often from selling advertising space, but I believe there should be balance between revenue and customer journey. There is nothing worse than going to a website and being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of advertising on the site. In particular I find videos that autoplay, pop ups and splash pages a particular annoyance. In addition to just having too many adverts on a page which causes a distraction there are also examples of inappropriate contextual advertising. For example advertising cruise vacations next to an article featuring the sinking of the Costa Concordia cruise ship is pretty unpalatable.
10. Password Restrictions
Last, but by no means least, a common mistake is having password restrictions but not stating what these are for customers. Most people appreciate that passwords should follow simple rules, but it’s important to highlight what they are. There is nothing more annoying than typing in a password to then find out that it’s not long enough or doesn’t contain the correct mixture of characters. Just let your customers know what these are so that you save them time.