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Readers Respond: What Do You Hate on Web Pages or in Web Designs?

Responses: 24


From the article: Web Design Mistakes
There are lots of things that are possible to put on Web pages, but if you do you run the risk of annoying more readers than you gain. What are some features of Web pages that you really hate and would never put on your own Web page?

My List

These are a few of my least favorite things. Overlays that I have to click through to see the content. (I always ignore what's on them the best I can.) Tiny type based on sizes appropriate for 15 year old monitors. Drab, colorless pages. Columns of text that stretch out for my entire monitor rather than reasonable column widths. Music and sound that loads with the page rather than letting me decide if I want to hear it. Video news stories without text versions which I can read a lot faster. Homepage pics that take up 2/3 of the screen above the fold. Sites that only work with IE. Mobile sites with no whitespace to use to move up and down the screen.
—Guest pet peeves

Micro Text,Useless Search,Arrogant Sites

Here are some other usability fails: - Sites that insist that most users still work under 800x600 screen resolution, have incredibly poor pictures of the items they sell, yet manage to cram the screen with totally unrelated garbage. - Search engines that produce totally, I mean, TOTALLY useless results (Google finds stuff easier on their sites than they do!) - Snobism: sites that insist you 'upgrade' to an inferior browser so that they may better manipulate how you view their site. Sites that insist you must disable your ad-blocking software to use them. Sites that insist you must register for even the most mundane comments. e-commerce sites that insist you give them your credit card info before they will post shipping fees (which end up being so high you promptly go look elsewhere). I could go on and on - Fact of the matter is, it is very challenging to shop online and finding real info amidst "sponsored" and other garbage sites has become more and more difficult.
—Guest Chris

Grey text on white background!!!

Definitely, like someone else said, grey text on white background is pure pain, as it makes text harder to read and induces significant eye fatigue. I wish there was a simple add-on for Opera or Firefox that would force change low contrast text color (grey on white or grey on black) back to normal contrast. Hint to web designers: if the page looks too bright for you, maybe your monitor is, or perhaps you should work in a reasonably well-lit space like most of us and see how it looks then.
—Guest Chris

Never-ending Links

Along with the above mentioned, it frustrates me when I have to click 3 or more times to just find something simple I am looking for. If a customer has to click more than 3 times to just find what they are looking for, maybe your site is not set up efficiently.
—Guest Montana

Design come from one idea

i think its difficult to judge web design as different people have different mind set when they working on it

Misleading Links

I hate when I click a link to a web page I desire, only to be led to an entirely new site, of which I do not care about. It is a waste of time, and very annoying to the site's users. If you wish to lose your visitors, this is the way to.
—Guest PaleKrow

Grey text on white

Grey text on a white background. Harder to read; adds nothing. I can understand why style-conscious sites like Apple or Slate do it, but I don't know one good excuse for it, except to 'look modern'. Grey text on white backgrounds is simply harder to read than black text on white backgrounds.
—Guest mooncaine


Music and podcasts that start automatically. And my web-design clients keep on asking for it! (I can give up to splash pages, but never to unsolicited sound) There is this local newspaper that has an audio file (not an advertising, just someone speaking about something in the radio) in their home page that will start each time the page is loaded... again and again and again... unchanged for months... and the "contact" button doesn't work.... most annoying.
—Guest claudia

These Are The Reasons I Love My Firefox

I have the Add Ons to block instant video/audio blasting at me. I can block ads. I can block flash. I have a back and 'X' button. Who could ask for more? I have seen some stuff on MySpace that just is plain irritating and way overdone, then I guess it seems so cool it's applied to personal and G_D Forbid, wannabe business sites.

The classics

5th: SEO Spam. Being a "white-hat" SEO myself, I can't help it but hate those runs of non-sensical keywords on the bottom of pages, especially when they are not relevant. 4th: Multimedia. No problem if a YouTube page plays a video straight away (that's what YouTube is about); but I don't want any video or sound on a page without consent warning. Make sure I can find a "stop" button before I reach the "Back" one. 3rd: Tiny/badly colored text. I don't care if it can be zoomed. If I'm not blind and I can't read your text, *you* did something wrong. 2nd: Frame abuse. AdSense or secondary content on IFrames is Ok. Pages with so many frames that you have to scroll to read just the title (it doesn't fit on its own frame) are not. And framed navigation = instantly hit "Back". 1st: Load speed. In general, if a page would take over 1 minute on a 56kb connection, I won't wait for it. I don't use a 56kb connection, but if I pay for broadband is to get pages faster, not to get more crap.
—Guest Herenvardo

Can we help popups

Ok, I'm on board with offering live help/sales on a website. But I HATE having to close your window on every single page that I visit. Especially when they are built to overlay content I'm trying to read. Leave them as a static link built into the content design and I will click it when I need to.
—Guest vancouver web design

Worst Designs are Big Help

I would like to give my heartiest thanks to all those web designers who burn their mid-night lamp oil and create a lesson of mistakes so that others can learn. "An unsuccessful player can be a successful coach"...as he knows what are the things that should not be done

In Only 1000 characters

3-D advertising that jumps out when the mouse goes near it. Sites that use new adobe versions and want you to up grade to use the site; I detest new versions and rarely download them. If a new version is that much of an improvement, then the version I have should not have been released previously. Sites that use new Java and pester you to download the latest version to use their site; do not want new memory hogging versions. Flash photo slide shows--if I can't put it on my desktop, I don't want to see it. Css built sites that jump all over the place until all the downloads are finished. Css/xml/flash sign-in panels that are not part of the page so login software doesn't work. Alleged remodeling that is Amazon slow and so user unfriendly. Enable cookies notices--take me as I surf or loose me. All those foolish networking/linking/feed logos; All things f@cebook. Join to comment restrictions. The pop-up sign-in here! Anal comment monitors like the one here.

Typography Matters

I'm in complete agreement with all the above comments and as a Web Developer myself it's great to hear what people think, my main grievance is with Designers who give absolutely no attention to how relevant the typography is to the subject matter of a website. No-one wants to see carnival styled writing on a website regarding top soil!
—Guest #mInD

unable to re-size text

I have vision problems. I hate it when I cannot use the re-size or zoom in to get the text to where I can read it. I have to copy it to notepad or similar to read it. The biggest offenders here are news sites And my ISP. I hate them.
—Guest marlene

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