Web Usability: What Not To Do

Here’s a quick run down of my personal bug bears when it comes to website usability and my internet enjoyment.

This list is generally focussed around eCommerce and transactional websites but could also apply to most customer facing sites. It’s by no means exhaustive, but is a cathartic exercise in helping me vent my grumpy old spleen.

Enjoy and feel free to add your own gripes via the comments below.

  • Don’t disable ‘open in new tab/window’ – browsers want lots of tabs open at once!
  • Don’t fill the page with ads or popups
  • Don’t make the route to basket involve more clicks than necessary
  • Don’t have a slow loading home page
  • Don’t hide important info in hard to reach place
  • Don’t put important product info below the fold
  • Don’t hide your contact details/faqs page
  • Don’t have too much white space
  • Don’t bring back ‘No results’ pages for search – offer alternatives
  • Don’t ignore social media – Twitter, Facebook etc exist – your customers use them – so should you!
  • Don’t deny me the right to filter by brand, price, size, colour etc.
  • Don’t make the search box too small
  • Don’t make clickable areas of the page (navigation, pagination etc.) too small
  • Don’t bombard me with options once i’m in the checkout tunnel, close it off  – focus me!
  • Don’t bring back irrelevant search results
  • Don’t have live chat and then never chat!
  • Don’t have broken links!
  • Don’t use incorrect alt-text
  • Don’t underestimate the power of a Page Title
  • Don’t use ugly url’s – remember seo!
  • Don’t use Twitter and then not follow anyone back!
  • Don’t fill your site with loads of dirty rotten links at the bottom of the page – it’s not big and it’s not clever.


  1. November 28th, 2009

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