Today, the Internet is a very competitive place. With so many individuals and businesses spending money and time on digital marketing and SEO – trying to perform better than their rivals and be at the top of Google – it’s the hardest thing ever to get a user to choose one. site in front of another.

Given the difficulty of gaining new visitors, you may think that webmasters will do everything in their power to provide you with a dignified user experience and to retain their attention. Unfortunately, this is not the case – the same nasty mistakes are often made, which repel consumers.

We will look at the most annoying mistakes in web design.

1. The site is too slow

Almost everyone has a smartphone in their pocket and the Internet has become synonymous with instant gratification. A user who has only a partial memory of something can quickly find the right answer on Google in seconds. If he wants to contact a friend thousands of miles away, they can do it as fast as writing a message in Messenger or WhatsApp.

We are all spoiled by the speed and adaptability of our hyper-connected world, and when we click on a search result and fall silent on a white loading page for more than 3 seconds – it seems like an eternity. If the click was motivated by purely frivolous curiosity, it is very likely that the user will think “Hmm, it doesn’t matter” and try another site.

The BBC reports in 2018 that they found that every extra second spent loading the page cost them about 10% of users, which in huge terms in the Internet is huge (according to these data – in 10 seconds you will lose all visitors).

Google also said that according to their study more than half (53%) of visitors from a mobile device will load the site if it loads for more than 3 seconds. After 6 seconds it is almost certain that they will try somewhere else. Of course, the functional needs of most sites are not very complex – the average online commerce site or blog has no excuse to load in more than 3-4 seconds.

2. Too many pop-ups

We’ve all had the unpleasant experience of clicking on a link on Google and being taken to a page that seems to be doing its best to keep us from reading the content. Two seconds later, we were bombarded with pop-ups, along with – something familiar to EU consumers – a GDPR / cookie popup.

Combined with a browser message, “This site wants to send you messages,” the overall effect is an influx of complete nonsense that bury the real content we’ve been trying to reach in the “Tililey Forest.” The only way to access the content is to close each window … Or try elsewhere.

The use of pop-ups is a controversial topic. Some designers and advertisers have significantly improved conversions because of their use. Others have refused their users (a survey since 2013 found that 70% of users find them annoying) from using the site. No matter how you find them, you will probably agree that pop-ups are often poorly made. They can have their benefits, but loading many at once without respecting the user’s desire to see the content is very likely to cause him to close the site.

As for GDPR and cookie messages – they are a legal requirement on all sites that have EU users. But they can be presented in a much less irritating way. Designers outside the EU can sometimes forget that they add an extra visual effect.

3. Lack of mobile version

Oddly enough, in 2019, some web designers still treat the mobile version of the site as something in the background. It is not uncommon to find a site where the mobile version is messy, overlapping, strangely formatted. All of this suggests that the web designer has not done a good job, or that you have not invested enough time to pay attention to detail.

It is worth remembering that paying attention to visitors from a mobile device is not something extra. This is the main task. More than half of the traffic comes from mobile devices in 2018, which proves that desktop browsing is becoming less and less used.

Combined with the change in Google’s algorithms (so-called mobile first indexing) – you have no reason to neglect the mobile experience of your site. A site with a poor mobile version can affect not only the SEO performance, but also the user experience and it is important to fix it.

4. Too many animations

We understand: the animations look great. Nothing says better “I’m a professionally made site” like some smooth effects, transformations, appearances and the like. They bring vitality to an otherwise static and sterile look.

However, animation is a “spice” that should be used carefully and not overdosed. Ideally – it will support and draw attention to important actions – but will not overload the user’s attention. Animations when you first open the site are also a good idea, but overdoing them is annoying. Generally speaking, the site’s features and content should only be supported by animations, not distracted by them.

It is also important to take into account that some animations can create problems for some users (those with attention deficit, for example), making it impossible to concentrate on the content.

5. Automatic media start

No discussion of web design errors can overlook the mention of auto-launch media. Unlike banners, GIFs and dancing babies – this is not over yet.

There are several ways to do this with taste, but it is often used in the wrong way. Today, most sites automatically play videos. On many pages, the video automatically goes to the content – and this is completely irrelevant to the content. It’s very distracting and it’s as if the site often says, “Hey, I know I clicked on a link to an article on design trends, but do you want to watch this video for a charity gala night?”

Fortunately, browsers like Chrome only allow autoplay on videos that have no audio or are reduced, which reduces the annoying feeling of playing unwanted audio.


All the issues discussed in this article are cases of poor UX design. Each element of the site must be considered in terms of its impact on the functions of the page. Does it help or hinder the user to find what he is looking for? Shortens or lengthens the process that the user must perform to reach the desired action?

Attracting visitors to your site is not a feat, and you need to reward those who view it by respecting their needs and time. Well-treated users can become regular visitors – and your site can never have too many.

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