Your Website Sucks and You're to Blame
By: Russ Emrick
Before you kill the messenger let me explain just why your website sucks, why you're responsible and how it can be fixed. Potential customers don't like to be annoyed, figure out your site, or have their time wasted. They also want real information not endless pitches and over hyped products.
How did I learn this about your website? Well I've spent hours on the web looking at your website and countless others. Just today I was searching for a solution to a simple problem: I needed the manual to a radio that I bought last month. Google gave me a million hits but everyone was a dry hole of misinformation, product pitches and fake reviews. The Internet is becoming a babble of incoherent nonsense - a circus. It's getting to be like the carnival with barkers yelling at you to buy some of their cheap foreign goods.
Here are the most common annoyances that blow visitors right off your web pages:
Loud Audio or Video Messages
Audio that starts when you open the page. Do the people responsible understand that very few web surfers want loud blaring messages screaming at them? Has anyone thought about how the web is used today?
Want someone to leave your website quickly - blast music or video at them. Oh and don't include the ability to turn off the sound either. Happy days.
- Surfing while on the phone
- In a meeting
- While another important technology - the TV - is on
You have 3 seconds to capture a visitor's interest and keep them on your site. In 3 seconds a visitor will decide to stay or hit the back button - or the close button. It only takes 3 seconds for a visitor to decide if the site is relevant and if it contains the information they're searching for. Long Flash introductions and irritating messages distract the visitor and frustrate them. Flash websites might have a use - but certainly not for business.
Navigation - I'd Have to Be Einstein
Hey, I'm no genius. Don't make me think. Buttons that don't look like buttons, clever wording instead of clear instructions, lack of a navigation tool bar, inconsistencies between pages. I need breadcrumbs, map, and Indiana Jones to find my way around these websites. Get me outta here.
Overuse of Color and Graphics
Again more distractions and inability to read and enjoy a website. Color is great - like most things in moderation. If I want an Easter Egg I'll get my son to color me one up. When I want to learn something I want to be able to read it - and without straining my eyes.
What is it with dark typefaces on dark backgrounds. How many books would you read like that? Strange fonts, multiple fonts, dark images on even darker backgrounds. Perhaps there is an entire category of web users I haven't come across yet - Vampires. Come on here, use some common sense. There is a reason that books are printed on white paper with nice black clear type.
Whose to Blame
Well, and I'm sorry for stepping on toes here but in the words of some famous person "we've meet the enemy and they is us" or something like that. We create these sites, visit them, and buy from them. Worse business people outsource, many business people too busy or too unsure what web users are doing entrust their online presence to others. Outsourcing or even relying on graphics designers, programmers and the geek squad can be disastrous.
Having a website is first and foremost a business process with goals, objectives, and a purpose. Everything on the website either adds or detracts from that purpose. Every element I've complained about, from graphics to multimedia, event to advertising, has its place. But those are business decisions based on what the customer wants and needs. Frustrating and irritating prospects won't further the business or get anyone motivated to drive to your office or store.
Of course there are many other problems. What's really needed is a solution. I'd like to invite you to read the entire article at Your Website Sucks and You're to Blame
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