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One of the reasons why I tend to stick strictly to RSS feeds for some sites and have completely abandoned visiting others is that although they have interesting content, it often comes at too annoying a price. So in an effort to educated others to not make the same mistakes as some even well-established sites, I have compiled a list of what I think are the 4 most annoying things you can do on your site (in no particular order).
1. Auto-Playing Audio/Video Advertisements – I can guarantee that most of you have come across a site that has this problem. You’re either listening to music or are just surfing quietly with multiple tabs open in your browser and all of a sudden you click on an outbound link that takes you to a site that starts playing an audio-video ad in the background.
2. Window Resize – This one happens to me the most when I’m using StumbleUpon. I stumble for a while everyday and when I do this, I like to have multiple tabs open at the same time, and as it always happens, I will stumble on some photographer’s website and it will force the browser window to resize to fit the photograph on that particular page. No matter how good your work is, I will give it a negative vote for resizing my window without my permission. (Here’s an easy way to get around this).
3. Pop-up Advertisements – Pop-up ads are not only ineffective, but they are incredibly annoying because they disrupt whatever the user is doing otherwise and divert attention to the advertisement. Although almost all browsers have built-in pop-up blocking, this causes two problems. First, it’s not effective all the time, and second, more often than not it blocks even legitimate pop-ups.
4. Insensitive to Photosensitive Epilepsy – Examples of this are few but are one of the most annoying, and are best seen in this example. Sites and advertisements in this category use flashing colors, symbols, words, and so on, in such a way that it makes the reader feel like he is going to have an epileptic seizure or a stroke and generally make for an uncomfortable viewing.
Though a little dated, here’s a great guide for what not to do when building a site.