Some of my common user experience pet peeves

When it comes to creating great online experiences I can have very strong opinions. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent most of my career creating them. Most people forget that creating online experiences is not about them, its about your customers. The people you are trying to attract, connect with, and engage with to buy your products and services. Over the years I’ve amassed a list of my pet peeves. The stuff that I see companies doing wrong all the time. New violations occur all the time, so I’m sure this list will grow.

1. Not having a “home” button or link on the website and expecting users to know to click on the logo.

I get it, most users probably know to do this by now, but why is it so hard to just put a home button?

I also think it can be disorienting for users to know where to go when navigating on a website that doesn’t have a ‘Home” button. Why make it confusing, just put one. Make sure it changes color or underlines the text when users are actually on the home page so they can identify where they are on the website. Important for user to have a point of reference.

2. Using poorly sized images.

I truly hate to see images stretched to fit a specific size. They look so unprofessional and diminish the perception of your website. Pay attention to the image sizes required and size them appropriately.

3. Playing music upon immediate load.

OMG this one really annoys me. It makes so many assumptions. Nevermind the fact that not everyone has speakers connected to their computers or are sitting in an environment where they want to hear music blaring out of their system. Be mindful of this and don’t force sound on users. Let them choose.

4. Promising a site is responsive when its not.

Just because something can be loaded on a phone doesn’t mean it’s responsive. As a user of WordPress, so often I have purchased themes that were to touted as responsive and when I tested them I found they were not. While I can do some HTML coding and CSS, I am not a programmer. I don’t want to have to go back to hire a developer to fix a theme I was told was responsive. Do you due diligence and make sure it’s responsive before spending the money.

5. Not having a ‘back to top’ for a long scrolling page when there is no easy way to get back to the menu. This forces users to scroll back up and is a real time waster. Make it easy on your users and just add a button or link to help users or make the menu easily accessible no matter where they scroll.

6.  Sites that have a lot of moving or dynamic elements on the page.

A few dynamic elements is fine but it really bothers me when I see sites with tickers, things moving across the screen, things popping out. I feel overstimulated. I typically have no idea what to do first and I just quickly close my browser and leave.

7. Making it very difficult to locate the contact information.

I know that many companies spend a lot of money putting mechanisms in place to make it easier for customers to be able to troubleshoot and fix problems on their own, but it’s truly frustrating when you want to talk to someone and the contact information is almost impossible to locate.