Web Site Turn-Offs

by David Berghouse - Date: 2007-07-11 - Word Count: 462 Share This!

There are a number of ways guaranteed to turn-off visitors to your web site. These are worth considering as you either design a site, or revise a site. Turn-offs generally can be defined as anything that impedes the user from quick and easy (intuitive) use of your site. Turn-offs also are often the result of gratuitous use of technical 'bells and whistles'.

One of the major turn-offs is a sloooow loading site. There can be a number of contributing factors to this:

* Large graphics files (meaning the file size in bytes). Graphics files need to be optimised to reduce the file size to a minimum to enable them to travel through the Internet in minimum time.

* Splash Screens. These are often Flash graphics and can take a long time to 'load', especially where there is limited bandwidth. Bandwidth is the carry capacity of the Internet, the bigger the faster - a bit like comparing a fire hose and a garden hose. Unfortunately in Australia bandwidth tends to be at the smaller end of the scale. Splash screens also annoy repeat visitors, as they revisit the site and have to wait for the screen to load (not everyone knows how to properly Bookmark).

* Excessively long pages. Pages should generally be no longer than three screen-fulls (scrolls). Also, bear in mind that most people scan web pages rather that read in detail (until they find the specific page they seek).

Other turn-offs include:

* Background music that automatically starts as the page loads. As well as slooowing the page loading down, your choice of music is unlikely to please everyone.

* Set a screen resolution too wide for the majority of computers in use. You would be surprised how many computers with 640 pixel x 480 pixel screens are still in use. So, set Table widths as a percentage of screen width, otherwise many of your visitors will be annoyed by needing to utilise the horizontal scroll bar.

* Requiring obscure 'Plug-Ins' as essentials to effectively use your site. A Plug-In is a piece of software that works in conjunction with a browser to display specific material, e.g. a movie clip, sound, etc. As your visitor probably won't have them, they then need to download the Plug-In and install it before they can continue using your site. Often people do not know how to do this.

* Endless little 'Pop-Up' screens that appear on top of the web page, particularly if they contain advertisements. Incidentally, if you are annoyed by these as a user of the Internet there are a number of pieces of software that can eliminate these, as well as banner advertisements when pages are viewed.

* On subscription and order forms ask for excessive information. Research indicates that response drops off almost proportionally to the amount of information required.

© Copyright David Berghouse 2007r
nHelping Small Business use the Internet since 1995.r
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