Website Design Flaws and Pet Peeves


Some websites are getting pretty fancy and some are remarkably plain, yet we all have our own taste for design and functionality so there is no definitive design solution. Having said that, there are definitely elements that annoy most people and should be avoided.

Here are my top five website pet peeves;

1- Pop-ups. I don’t mind a box already on the site that asks if I want to take a survey or something, but pop-ups are horrible.

2-Requiring registration to get information. Give me value and let me decide if I want to register.

3-Websites that have no design. Template sites that are link farms or just huge pages of text.

4- Long, scrolling pages of text. If you have a lot to say about a subject, use topics or categories

5- Music that auto-starts and isn’t easy to turn off. If I want music, I’ll turn on my own. Having subtle sound effects can be fun, but they need to be subtle and only on a few items.

According to Hostway’s survey of more than 2400 Internet users;

The top 5 things that bother people most when visiting a website are

Pop-Up Ads (93% !)

Requiring them to install software (89%)

Dead Links (86%)

Requiring Registration (83%)

Slow-Loading Pages (83%)


Startup Nation has a forumtitled, “Website Pet Peeves- what annoys you most?” The pet peeves noted by the participants included;

– Websites that blast music or any type of audio as soon as it loads.

• The only thing worse (at this moment) is the same site that also doesn’t let you turn it off!!!

• Flash that has no value besides to be “flashy”.

• Sites that fall apart in Mozilla, Firefox or Opera.

• Sites that use popups, popunders, or any advertising that scrolls / blocks the actual content.

• hyoog (sik) blocks of text with no paragraph breaks, and text on backgrounds that make it almost impossible to read whatever is in that text.

• sites that are built for the PC user and not the Mac user in mind.

• Sites that make you search all over to figure out how to contact someone, for the answer to a simple question.

• websites that are one big image!

• typos and bad grammar.

• Neon colors

Nancy Barney, owner of posts her top ten pet peeves at 123Interactive (also at Self SEO and Web4to40)

10. Websites with nothing on the home page to identify itself.

9. Flashy, sparkly, swirling intro pages.

8. Music, or any other sound, that starts up when you click on the home page and you can’t turn it off.

7. Excessive drop down menus.

6. Too many moving parts.

5. Web page that is too long or too big.

4. Totally invalid search results

3. Websites that look like they were shot out of a shotgun.

2. Text size that is too small or too large.

1. Content is hard to read because of text and/or background colors.

Useit lists their top ten mistakes of web design

10- Not answering user’s questions

9- Opening new browser windows

8- Violating Design Conventions (not being consistant with how majority of sites navigate)

7- Anything that looks like an advertisement

6- Page titles with low search-engine visibility

5- Fixed font size

4- Non-scannable text (sik)

3- Non changing color of visited links

2- PDF files for on-line reading

1- Bad search

Maureen at WebAngelDesign has four pet peeves;

– Stop using CLICK HERE as a link to another page, instead use the words of the page you are directing people to as the linkable text

– Using frames

– Long, scrolling pages

– Blinking

FastCompany published it’s 5 Fatal Flaws back in 1998

1- Don’t try to lure users to your site by bragging about your adoption of new Web technologies.

2-  Don’t turn pages into orphans.

3- Beware of Blink

4- Break with Frames

5- Long download times

When creating a website it’s important to give it your personality- be bold and creative. Just keep in mind these top annoyances and flaws so people who visit your site will enjoy it as much as you do.


6 thoughts on “Website Design Flaws and Pet Peeves

  1. My biggest pet peeve is when a website has an animation or advertisement that you are forced to see before you enter the site. That is the worst!

  2. I would have to say my biggest pet peeve is music that suddenly erupts on entry to a site. It never fails that your speakers are up too loud to begin with. Domain campers would have to be a close second though.


  3. My biggest pet peeve is a redirect. If I wanted to go to the redirected site, I would have gone there. I am not referring to just redirects caused by malware and trojans, I am talking about any redirect.

  4. hi, interesting information you got on web sites, but can you make money or on this technology? i’m not tolking rich but supplemental income. Which is better HTML or PHP or Flash? What i mean is easier to build/create? thanks, good post

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