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How to Annoy Your Blog Readers with a Bad Webpage Design

May 7, 2007 by  

You probably do not realize it but your visitors may be leaving your blog because of its bad design. Here’s a list of webpage design elements that I find annoying.

 

  1. Graphic & Multimedia

    I hate it when multimedia files load automatically. Playing a sound file or animation automatically when a visitor visit your blog won’t make them thank you. Give them the choice to play the file themselves and turn it off if they are sick of it.

    Unless your page is targeted towards a very specific audience, don’t bother adding a plugin that forces users to download external file to view your content.

    Not everyone is using a broadband so use small image size on your blog. Graphics that are too wide for a monitor are also annoying.

  2. Text

    Use a text colour that show good contrast with your page background colour. You don’t want to use red text with orange background don’t you? Avoid coloured text that looks like a link.

    Avoid using small font size that forces your readers to squint.

    I don’t know about you but I find the use of Snap shots pretty annoying. If I want to know what the link is about, I click on it. There’s no point showing a snap shot when the reader can’t read the text inside the snap shot.

    previewshot.gif

    If my mouse pointer accidentally hovers on a link, a snapshot appears which actually block the text that I am reading, quite annoying as you can imagine.

  3. Navigation

    Make sure to add a link pointing to your homepage on each page. It helps the user to understand the structure of your blog and get back to the starting point when they get lost.

    Avoid dead end pages without navigation options. This is also bad practice from the search engine optimization point of view.

    In addition, to improve the aesthetics and usability of your blog try to use descriptive permalink structure such as

    http://www.sabahan.com/2007/05/07/sample-post/

    instead of

    http://www.sabahan.com/?p=123

    This helps in your search engine ranking too since your keywords are included in your URL.

  4. Outdated Content

    Update your blog frequently. There’s no point having a blog if you have not updated it for more than 6 months. In such case you need a normal website – not a blog.

  5. Too many ads

    I know it’s easy to go overboard by plastering ads all over your blog thinking more ads translate to more money. I find it annoying when the ads get in the way of the blog content to the point that it affects readability.

    I also find blogs that show ads as if it’s part of the content annoying.

    Try to find a good balance between content and ads. Some may complaint that it’s the same with Sabahan.com – too many ads.

    Well it pays the bill and I don’t think I am worse than some of the more popular blogs.

    Unless a large majority of your users can tolerate the practice, you better do something about it.

  6. No contact info

    You don’t have to display your email or physical address if you don’t want to. But at least include a contact form or provide a way for your reader to contact you personally. You don’t want your readers to leave a comment each time they want to contact you, do you? Certain things are better said between the two of you.

Finally, keep your readers in mind designing your blog. You can improve your blog design and usability further by removing unnecessary design items.

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19 Comments »

Comment by Julian
2007-05-07 12:29:30

RE: Item 3 is actually subjected to your hosting OS/type. I realized that I made a mistake by taking up Windows based hosting and Windows based hosting do not support /2007/05/07/sample-post/. So I had to stick to ?=192 until I change my hosting service to Linux based.

 
Comment by MaRvELgAL
2007-05-07 13:30:36

Ya, I hate those snapshots too. Annoying spasms.

 
Comment by Gallivanter
2007-05-07 13:32:41

I hate it when multimedia files load automatically too. It’s ridiculous…

 
Comment by icy
2007-05-07 18:04:37

Yeap, i got your first point. Once i have visited the multimedia website, i will close it imediately. Pretty annoying to me.

 
Comment by RajaRinggit.Net
2007-05-07 22:38:08

i hate slow loading website…the rest i dont really care

 
Comment by Aileen_g Subscribed to comments via email
2007-05-08 17:42:32

hmm.. thanks for the tip. I’ll make sure my site is free of all these disturbances.

why not you visit my site and give me some advice on how can I improve further my site? I hope readers won’t leave my site.
http://imalaysian.com

thank you very much. I’ll gladly appreciate it.

 
Comment by MN Web Design
2007-05-08 20:29:10

If people didn’t make those kinds of mistakes I’d be out of business! ;)

 
Comment by Turk
2007-05-09 10:14:16

“I don’t know about you but I find the use of Snap shots pretty annoying.”
yup! u r right about this one. i thought it was cool :)

 
Comment by Aileen_g Subscribed to comments via email
2007-05-09 11:03:10

snap shots, huh? i thought they were cool.. maybe in small quantities it wouldn’t be so bad?

 
Comment by kuanhoong
2007-05-11 16:43:26

Yup, I also find Snap shots pretty annoying. It’s just a pop-up ads to me.

 
Comment by Aileen_g Subscribed to comments via email
2007-05-11 17:15:37

hahah and i used to think that those snapshots are cool..

 
Comment by Sally, design guru
2007-10-22 00:37:14

Completely agree about multimedia and flash. Blogs with automatical play of music files are so irritating.

 
Comment by rayman
2008-12-08 06:49:20

I agree with you regarding snapshots…but your site has ads snapshots!

Comment by Gaman
2008-12-08 14:42:31

LOL you are right. It appears that one of the advertisers has decided to add a snapshot on mouse hover

 
 
Comment by fivekitten
2008-12-13 03:42:20

Google suggests 70% content and 30% ads.

I also agree with everything you posted! I HATE snapshopts because they interfere with what I read! Very annoying. And as far as graphics and multimedia is concerned, I’m on satellite, and pages with heavy graphics and multimedia take forever to load – I usually click out. I turned the sound off on my computer so I don’t have to worry about sound though!

(p.s. I just want to suggest that the heading “too many ads” might appeal to English teachers instead of “too much ads” – or “too much advertising” would be okay – but the rest of us probably don’t care..lol…sorry, it’s the writer in me..surfacing its ugly head…)

Comment by Gaman
2008-12-13 11:28:50

You are right… thanks for pointing that out

 
 
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