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Readers Respond: What Design Scares You?

Responses: 17


From the article: Little Web of Horrors

I am always amazed at the sheer number of ways there are to create Web pages that are downright scary. No, I'm not talking about horror movie websites. I mean the number of ways people can design pages that end up scaring readers away rather than enticing them to stick around.

Share some of the sites or design mistakes you've seen and why you think they should be avoided, even around Halloween.

Too Much White

White backgrounds and large monitors with not low enough brightness settings. or any Mac monitor, or most smartphones. Makes my eveballs hurt. Causes a "clickaway" response
—Guest Mongrel Shark

Survey Popups

I understand that customer feedback is important to businesses, but when it pops up asking if you would like to complete a survey when you leave their site, it's still a popup message. They could put a link to the survey on the page and let me click on it if I wish to do the survey.
—Guest whitewater


I'm quite surprised nobody mentioned about pop-up ads. Who loves them? I don't.
—Guest Lord Allen Hernandez

Too Web 2.0 Trendy with Interface

Unless I'm going to a rather artistic website, because I'm into graphic design and illustration, I really go to other websites for information or entertainment purposes. I go to those sites for very straightforward reasons. But nowadays, everybody's got to copy Twitter with the invisible Reply buttons with no hints to where they are and Facebook with an ever-changing interface. Why? Consistency and clarity still haven't left web design as principles. When it comes to information and entertainment websites, easy access to the content should be most important. That means keeping with a consistent interface, keeping distractions to a minimal, and please, no more invisible buttons you've got to mouse over the whole screen to find.
—Guest Guest Brian

Text impossible to read

Text with too little or too much contrast with the background - or with horrid color combinations that hurt the eyes (as mentioned above). Text that is smothered in a designer's unfettered fantasy-world; this is also one of my pet peeves in paper magazines.

Articles without dates

Normal website pages are fine without dates, but if the page refers to current affairs of the time then a date somewhere on the page is a must!
—Guest Corinthcom.com

What design scares you?

i hate websites where there is just too much animation. When you just go over a tab or something it automatically drops down, which takes like 5 seconds or something. It would be fine if it drops down immediatly but taking 5 seconds? thats messed up
—Guest bb

Automatic video

Those sites which starts loading flash videos without pressing play button. This eats away my bandwidth, and make the other items of page load slower.
—Guest Anish D

Check out anytime, but never leave.

What scares me the most is visiting a page and then trying to leave by clicking the back button--only to find myself redirected back to the page I'm trying to leave. Makes me want to never return!
—Guest dbp0613

I agree with PerAb

The sites that bother me the most are the sites where you literally have to drag the mouse over the text and select it in order for me to be able to read it. A worst addition is if the links in a site's navigation buttons are clunky, random, animated images that don't relate well to each other. Another no-no would be uses tons of frames in the site, but not using the proper codes to conceal the scrollbars that don't need to be there, or when the scrollbars of the frames are just the default generic ugly and it takes away from an otherwise lovely website. Oh and let's not forget- sites with loud, repetitive music that you just can't shut off. Myspace pages are also not free of scrutiny. Some users load them with annoying backgrounds and/or music, or just fill their pages with so much content that it takes forever to load even on a speedy connection and makes their site confusing and unnavigable.
—Guest erndre


And more FLASH! It has its uses, but sites that are all but entirely Flash-driven drive me away faster than the page can halfway load. Way, way faster.
—Guest EmPea

What Design Scares You?

The kind of website, once it comes up, it makes an loud audio advertisement announcement or plays some loud annoying music. With sites like that, I immediately click the Back button and leave the site, I don't care what the site is about. It's just too intrusive and annoying.


The scariest website I have ever seen has bright red background, black text, bright blue links...
—Guest lam

Designs that scare me

I agree wuth Kula Dhad - Mystery Meat Navigation, or - and believe it or not I have seen this - sites with NO navigation and the links are all in the text!

Pages that are hard to read scare me

Pages with a bloated design. A "fancy" background and/or bad contrast between text and background. I have even come to pages, where I must select the text to be able to read it. I also find pages with black background and text with a heavy saturated color tiresome to read, at least longer passages. Black text on white background - simple and good.
—Guest PerAb

Horror Sites

Web Site: Boo! Readers: Ahhhh! it's the Mystery Meat Navigation!
—Guest Kula Dhad

Readers Respond: What Design Scares You?

white text on a black background. yeah, it looks cool and all edgy but it's really annoying to read any amount of text like this. it's like the image is seared into my mind. when i look away from the monitor all i see is squiggly lines of white.
—Guest Ailora
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