Annoying Websites: What Makes Them Annoying?

There are a lot of fantasic websites online, and we’ve all got our favorites. However, there are other websites out there that seem to make it their mission to annoy anyone who comes to visit, playing music with no visible “off” button, flashing garish designs, or offering terribly confusing navigation. Here’s a list of the top nine most annoying website designs, processes, and in your face “enhancements”.

1.  Music

We’ve all come across them at one time or another: websites that automatically play music once you’ve landed on them. Most of the time the music is extremely loud, and most of the time there is no obvious way to turn it off. This is something that was especially popular in the early ’90s, especially with people who created their first websites via services such as MySpace or GeoCities. We’ve evolved a long way since those early days. Auto-playing music on websites is virtually universally hated, and yet, there are still plenty of websites out there that continue this annoying practice.

2.  Multiple Back Clicks

Websites that somehow hijack the Back button in your Web browser, making you double/triple/quadruple click in order to get back to the website you just came from? This is incredibly annoying and frustrating, especially when you’re caught in some kind of loop that makes you actually close the browser tab you’re in just to get away from the website’s control of your browsing experience.

3.  “Are You Sure?”

When you want to leave a website, it’s annoying to have multiple pop-ups that ask you repeatedly if you want to leave that page. One surefire way to make sure that users definitely want to leave your website is to ask them over and over again if they really want to leave, using intrusive methods to ensure that not only do they want to leave, but they probably don’t want to ever come back.

4.  Images That Won’t Enlarge

You find a gorgeous image on a website, but it’s rendering too small. No problem – there’s a magnifying glass on the image, which is the universal sign for “I Get Bigger!”. You click on the image, opening it in a new browser window or tab, and the image is no bigger than it was when you first looked at it. This is extremely annoying.

5.  Ads

We know that you have to pay your mortgage, but ads that take over the entire browser window, or pop up unexpectedly if we mouse over something, or play loud music when we least expect it, are annoying. Most users don’t mind a few unobtrusively placed advertisements, but when they get aggressive and hijack the user experience, it’s not okay.

6.  Adding Text

Sometimes we like to copy and paste text from an interesting piece of content on the Web in order to share it with friends, family, and other people in our social networks. In recent years many websites have made it a practice to append the text “Read More at (insert URL here)” whenever they sense this action happening. It’s annoying, and while we realize the reasoning behind it (deter people who would steal content for their own purposes), it’s still irritating.

7.  Extremely Large Files and Videos

Large files and videos that take forever and a day to load – and then take over the browser window or tab – are annoying, and often end up in the user backing out quickly or simply closing that particular tab. We do want to watch that video, but we certainly don’t want it bloating our entire screen.

8.  Surveys

We won’t begrudge a simple survey that is trying to gather just a tiny bit of information every once in a while. After all, websites that do this are simply trying to get to know their readers in order to serve them better. However, intrusive surveys or questions that pop up every few minutes, on every visit, when we arrive and when we leave, are too much.

9.  Loud Fonts and Backgrounds

Flashing fonts, clashing colors, busy backgrounds that give users a headache….these are all annoying, along with text this is in ALL CAPS or in extremely small letters, fonts that are entirely too complicated or precious to read, and spelling/grammar errors that take away from the content.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.