5 Things You Need To Stop Doing With Your Website. Right Now.

1: Autoplaying video

Picture yourself in your office cubicle. You remember that you need to find out about that weight loss product. You go to a website, and BOOM, sound from the website’s weight loss infomercial starts blaring out of your computer speakers. You frantically start playing Wack-A-Mole with the eleven browser tabs you have open… but it’s too late. Your whole office now knows that you’re seeking the next fat loss fad supplement.

Here’s what these website owners don’t understand: The Internet is a personal thing. Do you think your Internet habits would be the same if someone from your office were looking over your shoulder all day? No way. Sound breaks the personal space, and shares your website with everyone around you. We don’t like sound unless we can control it.

If your boss said “just set the video to autoplay so we can pump up our views“.  That’s not how it works.

From Google’s mouth:

The views section shows the number of views for your top 200 channels or videos. Note that just active views will be counted and that it won’t include views from videos set to autoplay.

Fortunately, Google has tried to help with this sound pollution. When using their Chrome browser, they’ll show you which tab is causing the sound. Here’s where to look:

Website sound icon in Chrome

Honorable mention goes to autoplaying video’s younger, but no less annoying brother – the “rollover” autoplay. You accidentally roll your mouse over a video and the website owner feels that on some planet it’s acceptable that you want to start the video sound because it was in the path of your mouse pointer.

2: Popups on mobile

We’ve come to accept the in-browser (modal) popups as opposed to the old school which open a whole new browser window. On some level, they’re acceptable. You feel great that you now have a website made for mobile, but you forgot that your popup also shows (and doesn’t adjust) on phones. It’s understandable that you think people want to sign up for your newsletter… heck I’ve signed up for some that way. However, on mobile? Trying to pan and zoom over to the “X” to close the popup is like a game of Operation.

Website Popup

3: Pagination of your articles/slideshows

I’m talking to you newspapers. What is pagination? This is when you’re reading an article and at the bottom, you have to click “2, 3, 4 Next->” to continue reading it. Usually your readers have found out the main part of your story, and they’re gone before page two.

The reason articles are broken into pages is because people in the boardroom say “We can get more ad impressions, and make more money if they load more pages!”

If you want people staying on your website with the possibility of clicking your ads, please consider the end user wants to read your article. Is it easier for them to scroll or swipe down… or to click the next number on the bottom of the article?

People want easy! There are even Twitter accounts to “Save You A Click”. They’ll tell you the answer to those clickbait headlines, and you don’t even have to go to page one of the article.

Cheers to The Onion for their article making fun of pagination. Caution though, the video autoplays, haha: Huffington Post Completes 63 Million Page ‘Where Are They Now’ Slideshow Of Every Celebrity Ever

4: Your internal website lingo

Visitors won’t know that you decided to be different by naming your blog “The 411”. They don’t know that you have five different sales training courses that you’ve decided to name after astrological signs. Those are fine… but please don’t use them for the page titles. When people go to websites, they won’t take the time to try to figure out your lingo. People don’t want to go through each page and figure out what each one is, and if it’s what they need.

When building your website, remember that it’s not a book. People don’t go page by page. If people have to spend time figuring out the inside jokes and snark on your website, they’ll just click the back button on their browser and go to one of your competitors. Help them out. Think about the person who has no idea who you or your company is, and what lingo you use.  Don’t make me think, just let me react.

5: Hard to find contact info

I think that to graduate a mandatory anger management course, you need to make it through the phone tree to your local utility company. Why is it so tough to get to a person?!?

Please, make it easy to contact you! I understand why you don’t want to put your email address on your website. Those spam robots pick it up and your inbox gets hit with a ton of garbage email. I’m perfectly fine filling out a contact form when I want to contact your company, but stop with the dozen questions mandatory questions. Or even better, put up a phone number where I can see it!

Anything you want to add? I’d love to hear it.

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