…as they are to fix:
1. Flash intros/lame ‘splash’ pages (along with long load times)
1990 called: it wants it’s internet back. Seriously, all a long intro does is eat bandwidth and prolong a user from accessing content. This applies to static splash pages as well: I don’t need to click on a huge graphic to ‘enter’ the site. While on the net today, if a user doesn’t have quick access to content, they will find another site that does. If you have an entire Flash site, have at least an HTML option with minimal functionality.
2. Music (along with talking ads)
Another bandwidth gobbler. I don’t even like the music you chose. And forget about me visiting your site while at work or another sensitive situation (after all, when do you think the peak surfing hours are?) Sound effects? Talking advertisements? Even worse.
3. A web within the web
Ever been to a corporate site (this is usually where the issue manifests) where it is obvious they just tacked on pages to existing pages with no solid plan of navigation? You click all over the site to find something, and when you think you found it, it returns a page totally unlike the existing site… or even worse, a 404. Even worse still: through some asinine implementation, the page (404?) you end up on was loaded via a server command which effectively disables the back button.
4. “Under Construction” pages
Another convention from the beginnings of the popular Internet. Do or do not; I will not check back “soon”.
5. Broken sites due to browser choice
While it can be a tall task at times, make your site function in IE, FF, Chrome, and Safari without gross discrepancies. At the very least, it should ‘fail gracefully’. If you are programming for the net, take an extra few minutes and check your site in these four browsers, and hopefully on a smartphone or two. If you don’t have access to multiple platforms, find it – or don’t code. It can be as easy as buying someone a latte in a coffee shop to pull up your site on their laptop. Also note different resolutions and how they affect your site.
6. Extremely outdated/erroneous information
This can be a tough one. With information flowing so fast on what makes the Internet the Internet, it can be hard to stay on top of things, let alone update every piece of content. A lot of this is the nature of the beast: most content is, by definition, an archive of sorts. Still, there are times when you come across blatant outdated or wrong information. Let’s say you reference the ‘new’ iphone 3 or the Sistine Chapel and the wonderful job Da Vinci did painting it. Even if these errors are due to a momentary brain fart, it is going to cost you loyalty. If you can’t get an obvious fact right, what else are you wrong about?
7. AND THE WORST…
Ads that expand and take over the page on ROLLOVER. I’m sure you’ve seen these – often for a movie or the car of the day, disguised as a small banner/box ad until your mouse comes in contact with it – often accidentally – and WHOOSH! CHECK OUT THIS CAR! Note these ads usually are video based, adding more bandwidth consumption and even more distraction. If you collect revenue though ads, this will not help. After a user encounters a few of these, you won’t have to worry about revenue, but rather a new business – your site won’t be visited again.
A bonus tip:
Grammar. Spelling. Even I fail at this from time to time, everyone does. But at least make an effort. One or two errors is forgivable, three or more is just lazy.
So, are you guilty?