3 Ways to Annoy Users and Reduce Conversions
One of the easiest strategies to optimise conversions is to increase usability on your website. There are many ways to do this, from designing a solid navigation system and writing engaging content to using interactive content and having a clearly branded message.
A site that is not user friendly, frustrates consumers and in reality, wastes their time. A few seconds here and there might not seem too important, but in our fast paced society, time is an important commodity and one of the easiest ways to annoy consumers is to waste their time.
The best way to increase conversions is to respect users’ time and focus on optimising their experience so that it takes as little time is necessary for them to do what they want on your website.
Here are 3 shortcuts that developers often take when developing websites that wastes users’ time.
Short cut 1 – Captchas:
These are the bane of the internet. Designed to prevent entry by bots (automated hacker programs) and spammers, captchas are a public nuisance.
The images can be so distorted that it takes multiple attempts to get it right. When a mistake is made, the user has to waste even more time retyping in their information and then resubmitting the captcha.
Captcha’s are not even infallible – a clever hacker can get around them. So what’s the answer? Well there are lots of alternatives available, such as the HoneyPot Method which includes a hidden field that if filled, indicates a non-human interloper.
Short cut 2 – Passwords:
We all understand the necessity of passwords for website security. The problem is that users have to remember lots of different passwords with different combinations of symbols and letters.
So most people just use the same password for everything, which saves them time trying to remember an array of passwords, but negates the underlying meaning of security. There are no real answers here except to try and make the process easier by providing hints on the minimum number of characters and symbols a user requires in their password.
This saves the user repeatedly inputting the wrong password, because they have forgotten they need an uppercase letter at the beginning of the password, for example.
Another method is to allow a phrase to be used as a password. People can remember phrases much easier than a complicated password made of letters and symbols.
Short cut 3 – Slow loading websites:
A good technique to optimise a website for conversions AND search engine rankings is to improve its speed. There are lots of ways to do this. Here are just a few techniques that will improve loading times and save the user some valuable time:
- Minimise HTTP requests by reducing the number of elements on a page
- Enable server level compression of large pages which are otherwise slow to load
- Optimise images by choosing the correct format and resizing before uploading
- Make sure the HTML and CSS is streamlined and lean
The bottom line is that website design and development should be focussed on the needs of the user. It should not be on making it easier for the website owner.
Meg is a Project Manager/Producer at Cornerstone with a special interest in conversion rate optimisation. She has a business analysis background and thinks the web would be a better place if everyone looked at their web statistics daily.