Paweł Durczok

5 Useless Things Not to Have on a Website

A couple of days ago we've posted some thing that are beneficial to have on a website. Today we're posting the opposite to that - elements and solutions that are useless in most cases.

Avoid those to make your website that much more effective. 

1. Sliders

The fact of the matter is, sliders, especially those on home pages, are one of the most ineffective ways to present content. Statistics shows that only about to 50% of users see the second slide, and hardly anyone sees what’s on the third one and beyond. There are several reasons why sliders don’t work:

  • they hide relevant content
  • require either patience of user action to get to said content
  • animation is not conducive to reading text
  • their CPU performance is not great and they require additional JavaScript increasing load times and server queries

But the bottom line is, there are simply better ways to present content than sliders.

They can still be useful in some cases, like presenting secondary visual content, which would otherwise take up a large chunk of browser real estate, but might not be as relevant to the user as other content blocks.

2. Excessive animations

Animations can be a visually pleasing additions to your website... if used in moderation. There seems to be a tendency to animate the entirety content on a page, which is great if you want to achieve two things - annoy your users and waste their time. While they may be willing to sit through it on their first visit, maybe even admire the effect, each consecutive return to your website will only end in frustration.

The rule of the thumb is that it should never take longer for your animation to play out than it would take your user to scroll down the page and avoid animating text, especially in large quantities.

3. Pointless content

There are many good reasons to include a bit of semi-personal info about you and your team on your company website. It makes you seem more relatable and more trustworthy. Still, content is king and while you might think that informing people about how many coffees you drink per week, or that your office dog is named Buttons is cute and all, the reality is that people simply don’t care. If you feed your users content that’s not relevant to them they are that much less likely to keep browsing your site. The truth is, if you have nothing to write, write nothing at all. Better yet, ask a copywriter for help if you have that option.

(Below, in Polish, the number of cups of coffee drank and number of telephone calls made).

4. Overcomplicated forms

Forcing users to fill out complicated forms is a good way to diminish their interest in your product, service, or company in general. Filling forms is a chore and that’s true for digital and paper ones alike. Don’t ask users to provide their date of birth on a registration form just because you want to send them a happy birthday email or ask for budget on a contact form. Forms should be clear and short. Have one field for name, instead of two. Leave the detailed information gathering for a followup email, or a profile page. The longer and more complex form, the bigger the chance it won’t be filled at all. Ask only for the most crucial information and leave the more detailed stuff for later.

5. Splash pages

Not all splash pages are useless of course, but if you do have a fully functional website behind a splash page it’s like putting barb-wire around a playground. This type of splash pages is surprisingly common on photographer portfolios and car manufacturer sites. There’s absolutely no good reason to use such a solution - it’s forcing your users to jump through hoops to get to the content they are actually interested in. I’d love to give an explanation why some websites include such “hello” splash pages, but I really can’t think of one. The bottom line is - you should give your users access to relevant content as quickly as possible.

 

And there you have it. With the previous post you have 10 things to consider for your next website. Be sure to check out our blog regularly as we'll be publishing more tips.