A growing body of research shows that web users’ expectations are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Their number one concern is to find information quickly and easily. Too many companies load their sites with eye-catching yet irritating gimmicks that annoy the viewer, get in the way of information retrieval, and ultimately hurt the brand.
Among web users’ most hated techniques are pop-up ads (93% of people find them annoying or extremely annoying), registration log-in pages, and Flash animation. What do these three things have in common? They all get in the way of accessing information.
When potential customers come to your site, they have an objective in mind. If your site obstructs them, they will leave. Moreover, they’ll probably never come back. Plus, there’s a 55% chance they’ll complain about your site to people they know. Not exactly what you’re looking for to build an effective brand relationship!
Design also plays a role in people’s emotional responses to a site. Confusing navigation, slow-loading pages (usually due to too many graphics), and amateur design add to viewers’ irritation. Women generally prefer more color usage and informal rather than posed photos. Men generally prefer dark colors, straight horizontal lines, and three-dimensional renderings.
What does this mean to you? Design your site for visitors’ needs, not for superficial or irritating ad methods. Positive web experiences help build a positive brand.