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Which elements your website should rather avoid and how they can be replaced easily

Which elements your website should rather avoid and how they can be replaced easily
Author
Max Frings
Published
24.11.2023
Table of Contents
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We all know the classic website visit in 2023:

  1. Open website
  2. Close penetrating cookie banner
  3. Click away aggressive newsletter pop-up
  4. Find out where the sudden sound is coming from
  5. Scroll away from the super-fast hero section slider
  6. Have completely forgotten why you are actually on the site

But that is also understandable. Many websites have grown almost organically over the years and some of those responsible do not even know (anymore) how their own user experience is limited by the complicated website design.

In this article, we have therefore set ourselves the task of cleaning up elements that restrict the UX of a website. But so that it doesn't just become a “delete this and that too” post, there is a suitable alternative for every element that makes revising your own website easy.

1. Overloaded sliders

Many websites use it, but users rarely get the benefit: the slider. And the idea behind it is simple:

“We want to communicate all of our great products or offers directly.”

The problem with this way of thinking: If you communicate everything, you don't communicate anything. Due to the flood of information that sliders communicate, they are usually simply ignored or they confuse site visitors.

A second problem with sliders is the negative impact on website performance, as more information and possibly even animations and transitions between slides must be loaded.

How to replace sliders

Since the basic intention of sliders is not wrong, but the implementation has rather negative effects on visitors, it is advisable to avoid sliders altogether. As an alternative, websites should work with static sections that provide a clear call-to-action. This makes information digestible and the instructions to website visitors become clear.

2. Pop-ups when a page is viewed

Pop-ups are a popular tool to quickly attract users' attention. In most cases, however, they have exactly the opposite effect. Due to the association of users that pop-ups actually always contain advertising, they are perceived as annoying and are immediately closed. In detail, pop-ups should be avoided when viewing a page because:

  • They lead to bad UX, especially if they're complicated to close
  • They look intrusive because users don't know anything yet
  • They are actually always associated with advertising
  • They interfere with natural scrolling on your site

A helpful question that should be asked before using pop-ups: “Does a user who is perhaps on my site for the first time really want to sign up for the newsletter directly?”

Probably not.

Use pop-ups correctly

To avoid the negative effects of pop-ups, but without having to completely eliminate them, there are a few best practices that should be followed:

  • Use pop-ups discreetly and scroll-dependent
  • Only communicate relevant information
  • When in doubt, just omit
  • Less is more

A good example: If you recognize that a user has left your site or is just about to close it, show a pop-up with:

“Before you go, here's a 10% discount for you.”

3. Auto-play videos

Videos and websites go hand in hand. And it is also often true that a picture is worth more than 1,000 words and a video says more than 1,000 pictures. Nevertheless, users should be able to decide for themselves when they want to watch and hear a video and its sound. If this is not the case, videos can have a negative impact on your own website. In detail, the problems with automatically-playing videos are:

  • They are not always easy to see on mobile devices
  • They can reduce user experience
  • They increase the loading time of the website
  • They are blocked by browsers
  • They reduce accessibility

Using videos correctly

The easiest way to use videos correctly and in a user-friendly way is to give users the opt-in option. Website visitors can therefore choose for themselves when to play a video and also have control over the sound played. Especially for video players from the USA, the current legal situation should also be reviewed. For example, it can be useful to completely block video players until users have given their consent to play videos. Read our article about this as well: Add an overlay to YouTube videos.

4. Complex and long forms

Forms can be the be-all and end-all for conversions on your own website. Regardless of whether it is a contact form or the option to book an appointment yourself, the hurdle for submitting forms is often high. Basically, the longer a form and the more mandatory information is requested, the fewer site visitors will register. And you know this behavior from yourself. Your own email address is quicker for an inquiry than a name + email + telephone number.

Using website forms correctly

Minimize the friction around the form and in the form as much as possible. Remove all queries that are not 100% necessary and work with individual steps if the form does get longer. Also create trust by implementing data protection notices or seals of approval and work with a clear call-to-action. This way, site visitors know exactly what to expect when they submit the form and you increase your website's conversions.