Four Web Annoyances to Avoid on Your Site

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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.

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  • JakeNudge

    I clicked on the link in point 4…. How can god let sites like that exist?!?! 🙂

  • Tammy

    Hi, Muhammad –
    The first one you listed is my biggest pet peeve when visiting websites. Our local (only, actually) New Hampshire news channel ( has taken the annoyance a step further. Not only does their audio start automatically on the home page, but if you click a link to go to another page (like Weather), the audio from the home page continues to play and there’s no longer a visible control to turn it off or lower the volume! Grrrr….

  • Jordan McCollum

    That site in #4 hypnotized me into a link exchange. Oh dear! 😉
    I can’t decide which of those is most annoying. So many ways to screw up a website, so little bandwidth.

  • almost vegetarian

    These are good … most especially because these are points that do not come readily to mind … but they are just the tip of the iceberg (if you’ll forgive a cliche). The bottom line is to design like a surfer. And try to avoid the corporate politics.

  • Coder

    Excellent! I agree with all your points but most especially with point 2!~I run my monitor at 1600×1200 and I may have several windows open and sized to fit the screen – almost nothing is more annoying that opening a website and having the browser window forced to full-screen!!! Grrrrr.

  • Mosley

    Good points but its hard to find site that use any of that. They only site that I know that flood you with popups and blinking ads are porn. Most bloggers have nice theams.

  • Wendy Piersall

    You don’t have to have photosensitive epilepsy to get a stomach ache from looking at that example. I still feel queasy! 🙂

  • rod /

    NYARRRGHHH – #4 – Make it stop!
    I particularly liked the fake IE security warning bar across the top warning me that I wasn’t secure in my faith.

  • markus941

    All I have to do to get a coveted pronet link is build an eye-bleeding website? Sweet 😉

  • Rachel

    I liked your comments about the photosensitive epilepsy. I hope that guy is getting alot of negative attention.

  • sweeta-dm

    Sorry, but what is kimerikas?

  • sweeta-dm

    Sorry, but what is kimerikas?