10 Things That Drive Me Mad When Visiting A Website

By Martin Angelov


There is a lot of hate on the internet. Most of the time, it is only because people find it easier to vent their real-life frustration online. But sometimes it is the websites you visit that drive you mad. Here are 10 usability failures that are guaranteed to piss your users off. If you are a web developer/designer, read the how to fix tips to make sure you are not part of the problem!

1. Forms that lose your input on error

As far as infuriating usability issues go, this has to rank at the top. You spend all that time filling in a form, making sure everything is perfect, and then, suddenly, all is gone forever. A habit that probably most of you have developed is to copy the contents of the field that took you the most time to fill, just in case everything goes to waste.

How to fix it:

If you are a web developer, simply add some JavaScript to your forms, use a validation library or submit via AJAX. Something that is a bit more involving, if you wish to keep the logic of your forms entirely in the server side, is to make sure that the contents of the inputs is populated again by placing everything in the session on submit.

2. Captchas

I am sure I am not the only one that hates them. Some of these horrible inventions are simply impossible to discern. Combine it with #1, and you get a maddening combination.

Don’t you hate captchas?

How to make it better:

Spam bots are getting more and more sophisticated, so some kind of proof that you’re human will still be required. Some captchas are better than others. reCAPTCHA only shows house numbers, so they are easy to guess by humans (and you also aid the correctness of Google Streetview).

3. Sending spam

Don’t you just hate it when a website tries to engage you by flooding you with useless, spammy emails that are impossible to unsubscribe from? I know I do.

You make my inbox hurt, LinkedIn.

You make my inbox hurt, LinkedIn.

How to fix it:

STOP SPAMMING. Also, close your LinkedIn account. Who needs that anyway.

4. Using negative setting names

Another hair-pulling mistake that web developers make, is to build settings panels with overly creative setting names. Don’t do this:

Negative settings are bad


How to fix it:

Aim for clarity and use simple phrasing. Use checkboxes for on/off. Prefer select boxes over radio groups for more than three options. Organize your settings in logically connected groups.

5. Long forms

Out of all the ways you could be spending your time online, I bet that filling out forms is the one you hate the most. Here is how I usually react when I see a long registration form:

What’s this!? I only wanted to try out your todo list!

How to fix it

Only ask for information you absolutely need. Even then, don’t do it during sign up, or you risk people leaving.

6. Interstitial ads

Those horrible ads are the first thing you see on some websites. Some of these ads don’t even let you dismiss them for a few seconds.

Nobody wants your mobile app!

Nobody wants your mobile app!

How to fix it

By using these ads you:

  • Make everybody hate you
  • Piss off your users. And what is the first thing a pissed off user does when they eventually visit the page they were headed to? They write a hate comment. That is right – you are breeding trolls.
  • Give people a reason to install AdBlock which in turn hurts all the hardworking web owners out there.

So don’t.

7. On close dialogs

I loathe these from the bottom of my heart. When I’ve made my mind that I don’t want to spend any more time on your website, and you still prompt me to stay once I close the tab, I am tempted to unleash 4chan upon you.

On close dialogs

I want to leave, damn it!

How to fix it:

Delete your website from the internet. You are a bad person.

8. Placing things where I don’t expect them to be

User interfaces should be logically organized. Related actions give people context and allow them to navigate your web app easily. So don’t move things around where they clearly don’t belong. Here is a horrible navigation menu:

Confusing interfaces

Tuesday is a great day to format your hard drive!

So first, people should create an event, then invite their friends, and finally format their hard drives. The perfect conclusion to a productive day!

Of course, this is a fictional example, but you get the point. To fix this category of issues:

  • Read a bit about UX and interface design. This will help you spot and fix usability problems.
  • Ask out friends or relatives to use your web apps while you observe. If they are confused, you have more work to do.

9. Sites broken on mobile

I remember the time when web designers couldn’t wait to drop the dreaded 1024×768 resolution that constrained their web sites. But just as this became a fact, mobile happened, and with it came all kinds of screen sizes that we have to support. Making a site responsive is not that hard to do. But if you don’t it will drive visitors away. This is bad:

Non-responsive sites

Quora clearly wants you to use their mobile app

How to fix:

For existing sites – add some media queries. This can go a long way towards being more usable on mobile. For new sites, you can go with a framework like Bootstrap, which has a responsive grid that is easy to use.

10. Paywalls

I realize that some sites offer quality content that can’t be supported with ads alone, so it makes a sane business decision to lock it up behind a pay wall. But boy can this drive you mad when you’ve been sent a link that you want to read.


Paywall example

So there you have it, that is 10! What would you add?

Source:: Tutorialzine.com