9 Web Design Don’ts that can ruin your user experience

Sarah Matarazzo
Wednesday August 21, 2019

Your website presence can make or break a sale. If your website isn’t up to date, attractive and user-friendly then you can lose prospective customers in seconds. Your site needs to not only stand out, but take users exactly where they want to go, simply and quickly.

1. Intrusive Pop-Ups

It’s helpful to have pop-ups, especially to let visitors know they can talk to someone or ask a question, but when it keeps appearing on every page or with every scroll, visitors start to get frustrated, especially when using a mobile site. Try to limit these and find another way to let them know you are there for them – Chalmers Brown, Due

2. Dropdown Menus

Dropdown menus with a menu that disappears are the worst. If you’ve ever had the frustrating experience of highlighting your search term and then scrolling over to the other menu, but moving off it and it disappears, then you know what I mean. Instead, keep the dropdowns in the sidebar so customers always know where they are in the website and won’t have that frustrating experience – Arnie Gordon, Arlyn Scales.

3. Large, slow-loading Images

While appropriate images are important for a professional website, you need to be sure to avoid large-file-size images, and sometimes, sliding images. A slow-loading site may cause visitors to quickly click away – Anne Bisagno, Xantrion.

4. Autostart Audio

Having the sound on with any video content or pop-ups can create a horrible user experience. Imagine opening up a site not knowing your sound is on full blast and having someone blare a message that your family, friends or colleagues hear. With 85% of online videos consumed without sound, it’s vital to avoid disrupting your user’s experience and implement subtitles or sound off by default – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC.


"When people interact with websites, they expect excellent user experience. If you fail to satisfy their needs, they’ll simply move to your competition, which might be just a click away. "

5. Continuous Scroll

Avoid continuous scrolling on websites. This feature is on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: As you scroll down the feed, new content appears at the bottom of the page automatically. While this feature is good for social media, in other cases, long/ continuous scrolling leaves people frustrated that they’ll never reach the end of the page or miss something that they cant’ see down below – Dimitry Dragilev, JustReachOut.io

6. Features That Attempt To “Outsmart” Users

Websites that attempt to “outsmart” their users with features like overriding the standard scrolling behaviour of the browser, blocking the right mouse button or clipboard actions, or modifying the browser history can lead to an extremely frustrating user experience. Your site may be unique, but forcing your user to “relearn” how to use your site just causes abandonment and loss of conversions – Jason Gill, The HOTH.

7. Aggressive Chatbot Messages

Chatbots have lots of applications—many of them good ones. But be careful in how you use them. What you think may help your website seem more intuitive, helpful and personal may leave your visitors unhappy and feeling over-pitched on a cluttered website with messages that are painfully robotic – Artem Petrov, Reinvently.

8. Desktop-Centric Design

Try avoiding the creation of too many pages and too much content per page. “Concise” is the keyword when it comes to professional websites. For most companies, mobile traffic has already taken over desktop traffic, with the mobile traffic percentage still growing. If you are just starting a new website, you should make it for mobile devices primarily and try keeping it desktop-friendly as well – Vikram Joshi, pulsd.

9. Too Much Text

Websites don’t need paragraphs of flowery language. Websites are a tool. Get to the point, keep it simple, avoid industry jargon and buzzwords, and let us know what you do, why we should care and how to get more details if wanted – Brian Contos, Verodin Inc.

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