About 10 years ago, some guy emailed out of the blue and asked if he could pay me to make his site uglier. I was like…
Turns out, he got sucked into some online-store scam in which he paid a licensing fee so he could get rich selling ugly trinkets.
He discovered that if he removed all navigation, slapped up some Google ads and made the pages as ugly as possible, people would leave by clicking an ad. Talk about lemons and lemonade.
Anyway, he figured maybe a professional could make the pages even uglier than he could and he’d make more money. You can’t make this stuff up.
Most people who hire designers AREN’T that guy…
It’s hard to tell, I know. Because, like, half the websites I see every day seem like they were built specifically TO drive people away.
There’s a whole lot of designers talking hotshot about UX, but when I look around the interwebz — well, let’s just say I’m not seeing it. They can’t all be courtesy of Basement Bob.
I dunno, maybe the client asked for dumb stuff and you went along with it. Clients ask for all kinds of dumb stuff. I once had a client that asked for a 3" wide banner, because he measured the one he liked with his ruler.
But, in case you don’t even know what’s a bad idea, here’s some tips…
10 Things Designers Should Stop Doing…
- Auto play video
Remember when people played midis in the background? We didn’t have tabs back then. Now when I open 5 tabs and something starts talking, I have to go FIND the *&!^ thing. Guess which tab gets closed instantly?
- Infinite scroll in the wrong places
Infinite scroll is cool when I’m looking at images. But if you’re a commercial site and you have important links in the footer? Like contact and customer service? You know people can’t get to them, right?
- Mobile sites that suck
If your mobile site doesn’t allow people to do the same things they’d do on the desktop site, I have one question. Why?
- Popups that ask me if I know I’m blocking popups.
Do I know I’m blocking ads? Duh. Do I want to turn off my ad blocker just for you? No — no, I’d much rather leave. K-thanks. Bye.
- Floating crap
Floating that like-button or signup form down the page isn’t going to make me more likely to click it. It’s annoying and, frankly, kind of stalker-ish.
- Sticky headers
So cooool, right? That big ol’ logo of yours stays right there, in my face. Except, it uses a chunk of the screen that could be displaying your stuff instead. I’m not here to buy your logo, you know?
- Hamburger menus on a desktop site.
Hamburgers are great on mobile. Yay, space saver. But on a desktop? So no one knows what pages you have without clicking to open the menu? Worst is the poorly done ones, where the content twitches over and back, over and back, every time the menu opens or closes. Bleh. So annoying.
- Too many flashing blinking ads
I get it. Some sites make money on ad views. Note that if you use too many of them, it backfires. Especially if they blink or flash. Gah, my eyes.
- Stupid, unnecessary apps
Interested in our classes? Download our app to get the current schedule!
Wtf. Seriously? Why make it so hard for people to pay you?
- Homepages that give people seizures.
That psychedelic design that pulsates so much it’s probably dangerous to people with epilepsy? Dancing logos with a handy-dandy loading bar so we can wait to see your logo animation? That’s today’s blinking text. Don’t do it, man! Also? Links to literally everything on your site. On a black background. In yellow text.
Here’s the cool thing. Most analytics programs show bounce rate. That means the # of people who take one look and bail. You wanna maybe look at that once in a while. Traffic doesn’t help if they’re just gonna look/puke/leave.
P.S. Did I miss any?