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Top Back Button Offenses?
What causes you to press the back button out of a site?

 6:58 pm on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

What causes you to press the back button out of a site on your first visit?

1) Slow loading pages. If it's slow on dsl, I'm gone.
2) People who over ride underlining of links.
3) Popups, Popunders, excessively annoying flash ads.
4) Stuff flying around the screen and embedded video.
5) Mass visual noise. Spammy menu systems with 10billion links so you have to dig to find the content.


Most of those can be dealt with by modern browsers with controls.


Hardwood Guy

 12:39 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Nobody has mentioned this annoying thing and I wonder why it happens:

Sometimes when doing a google search I go though a number of sites and all of a sudden bamn! One site won't allow me to go back to the google search with the back button. Suddenly I'm stuck with trying a new search and forget the exact keywords. Grrr...it makes me angry and I'm a patient kinda guy.


 12:43 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Text that stretches all the way across the screen with no or too few paragraph returns and extra-long sentences so that your brain gets totally frazzled trying to read it and even if it is interesting it really is too painful to continue and the only answer is the back button. And flashing stuff, and gaudy colour schemes, and more than one popup, and poor speling and punctuation

Visit Thailand

 12:50 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

- Page that has the refresh set to a low number so just as you are half way through looking at X it decides to reload!

- Websites that are morally degrading

- Use of foul language


 12:54 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Many amateur site configurations annoy me... but content that was obviously never intended to match the link description... the absolute worst.


 1:38 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

"Brochure" sites. (Yeah, I'm about to do one, but I'm going to explain "how" more than "what".)

Sites full of bold capital sans-serif fonts that are obviously designed by someone who has no freaking clue. (Oh wait, that was me before i found WebmasterWorld! ;) )


 1:41 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

1) Popups of any kind whatsoever!
2) Excessive use of flash (any movie on home page and I'm gone)
3) Anything that redirects me (really pisses me off - maybe should be higher)
4) Silly colours for text that make it difficlut to read. Black text on white background is the easiest, and NO designer should be given a free reign on this. Design is one thing, usability is quite another.
5) Excessive use of graphics that don't serve any purpose (slow download - especially on dsl, but also on a modem)
6) Anything that puts a cookie on my machine without asking me annoys me slightly.
7) Complex navigation (again should be higher) - poor usability. If I get to a page and I don't know exactly where I am and how to get to ANY other page in the site, that is bad.
8) Designers should read Jacob Nielsen's book.


 1:50 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

broken links on home page

pictures that never load [x]

cantact mailbox full or nonexistant


 2:19 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

My pet hate (and you can tell it's happening before you've even entered such a site) is the java scroll-fade, either in an agonisingly slow sweep or circle, where the site begins to appear while the applet slowly dissolves the page you were on before. And you often have to sit through the WHOLE THING before you can leave, and then see the WHOLE THING AGAIN before you're finally back to Google.

Does anyone else know what I mean?


 2:33 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

the java scroll-fade, either in an agonisingly slow sweep or circle

Isn't that actually a 'feature' built into IE? I seem to remember trying it once, thinking it was cool and subsequently having the sense to never use it.


 3:37 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yes, I know exactly what you mean about the "fade"; it's some time of code they put in, not an IE feature (as far as I know).

Incredibly annoying that you get it at the front and back end; you have DSL, but have to wait forever for that stupid fade effect to do its thing.

Someone else had a good point about complex navigation. In fact, it's an EXCELLENT point. At one time, it was supposedly ranked in the top 3 reasons people left sites (along w/ not finding what they were looking for and slow d/l time).

I'm a big proponent of "standard" underlined links (not so big on the standard colors any more; just so long as you can differentiate between visited and not visited) AND a simple navigation system that's CONSISTENT across the site.


 4:19 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Session based, database type sites like Expedia that usually flip out and forget what link you clicked when you're in the middle of searching for something.

Actually session based jsp sites are the slowest, most complicated beasts that irritate me to no end. Those mile long urls just can't be good for browsers.


 4:21 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

In order of annoyance factor:

1. When McAfee pops up and tells me I have a virus.
2. Music or sound of any kind.
3. Flash presentations that don't allow for override.
4. Graphics moving across the screen.
5. Pop-up ads that pretend to be warnings.
6. More than one of any kind of pop-up ad.
7. Flashing or blinking stuff.
8. Mouse trails.
9. Pages that are very slow to load.
10. Colors that are butt ugly.

[edited by: kfander at 4:24 am (utc) on Nov. 30, 2002]


 4:22 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Mainly (3) items here.

1) Slow loading pages, whether flash, 8,000 thumbnails, 2 Huge graphics, etc. If It doesn't load fast, I'm gone. I use dialup and cable for testing, but I will surf a lot on dialup.

2) An obvious 'This ain't where I wanna be', or 'why did I click on this link anyway?'

3) broken images, broken links - The images are a dead giveaway, the site hasn't even been seen by it's owner in a few years, or it's still in his NN4 cache. I'll give it a broken link here or there, but after 2-3, I'm outta there.

I can live with a lot of the other stuff - e.g. popups are no problem since I'm using Mozilla.


 4:26 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

When I have to "register" to access the information I am looking for. Yes, please put me on your list of people to spam twice a day.


 4:35 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Oh, yeah, I forgot. I'm right with you there radiosky. That's a definite no-no for me. I'd insert that around 2 or 3 for my list.

Popups/unders really bothered me for a long time, and I really made Moz my default because that was another big reason (I like the blocking of images also) They're not so bad if you can dismiss them, after a cookie was set...yeah, I saw your popup...some sites will do this and not nag you again after you saw the popup. But the sites that really bugged me were ones that did their popup thing, then you dismissed it, clicked a link, and here it comes again. REALLY BAD - Let's play drop the soap kind of thing. - I'm out. Bye.


 5:14 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Any page that doesn't give me some sense of:

1. Where I am
2. What I can do there

I will put up with a lot - but if the information value is obscure fuggeddabowdit!

This commonly happens with orphaned frame pages and orphaned pop-up pages. No matter the why of it, I'm not going to strip the URL down to the root and try to guess where to go from there.


 5:44 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Popups, popunders, text that isn't legible, slow loading and Flash.


 6:23 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

While most of what was mentioned before I find annoying, there are two things that would make me leave a site (no matter how bad I need the content):

1 - The new and ultra annoying ads that load in the middle of the page (on top of the text), or that slide in from the sides. Not only I leave the site, but I expunge it from my favorites and never-ever go back.

2 - Pages that contain nothing but links to affiliate products.

I have low tolerance for pop-ups but my pop-up killer has taken care of that problem.

delstar dotstar

 7:10 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

java java java (unless i know beforehand there's an applet i want to see -- unfortunately, i always forget to turn off java afterwards). any time i see that gray java box, it's adios to that tab/window (as well as a mental note never to visit the site again).

also, pages with high-contrast backgrounds obscuring the text.


 7:41 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Are we talking why would I press the back button, or my sites visitors?!
There is a big difference!

I for instance would certainly close a page with endless popups and popunders, but most users now days don't know any better...... MSN, Y! - most big sites have them.

What exactly do some of you have against cookies? As a web developer I live and die on php cookies and if you're a user who does not accept cookies, you can not shop on the sites that I'd built. Are some of you still under impression that the whole world has conspired to get its hand on your precious pc data? I for one like coming to this forum and not needing to sign in.

All of you complaining about affiliate links, flash ads and such - don't forget you're not the only ones on the internet who would like to make money.

Are there actually still people around who use text only browsers? I will not optimize any of my sites to be "text-only user friendly" just because 3 paranoid Pascal programmers think that BillG is out to get them through his clever developed diversity. It's almost 2003 for gods sake! If your system can not support, images, flash, director, CSS, JS....... you might as well forget what internet is and move to Greenland and get in touch with nature.

Sites that are terribly designed - you know the ones with strange text, backgrounds, wired navigation........ most of them are the old days websites. They were published mostly without any materialistic goal, unlike 99.9% of modern sites. If there is still good quality information left somewhere in the Internet, that you can get without giving your email address 150 times and viewing 2347 viagra ads, it's on them.


 11:02 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

11. Anti-right-click scripts when I want to open in a new window.
- Tony

Try Shift + Click on the link. Much faster than right-click and then click again. Cheers!


 11:08 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Popping up the add to favorites dialog box, unforgiveable


 11:11 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Horizontal scrollbars and/or any automatic redirects.


 11:29 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Forms that lose the info if you have to click back.

delstar dotstar

 12:29 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

All of you complaining about affiliate links, flash ads and such - don't forget you're not the only ones on the internet who would like to make money. --veneerz

yes but i don't think driving/turning/pissing off potential customers is really the best way to go about making money.


 12:40 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

i like this thread it's so socialising to rail together :)

forgot something: the animated email-button (360°turning "e")


 12:43 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Web Sites where the owner is promoting himself more than the product. Is he trying to sell me a blue widget, or convince me that he, "The Discount King of Blue Widgets," is a demi-god megalomaniac on par with movie stars and world leaders - a shaker and mover on the planet Earth. A Middle East Peace Maker and million dollar deal broker.

I ran into one like this the other day (not the first or last) and I went to the alt forum for customers and people in the biz and cut him off at the knees.

Sheezus Christ man, you're just a blue widget salesman. Scale back the dosage on the Zoloft.

Along these lines, I will never do business with a site that bad mouths another company.

"Acme Blue Widget Company stinks! But the International Amalgamated-General Blue Widget Trans-Corporation only sells the highest quality blue widgets and we always go to church on Sunday. Sometimes twice.


 12:55 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

How about this: a site where you log in (email, internet banking), take your time to fill out a form, then click submit, only to get "session expired, please log-in again" and irreversibly your whole form and have to start again. GRR


 1:04 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Something that forces me to say I don't want that page to be my home page.


 4:35 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

sites that maximize the browser window as soon as you enter them


 4:45 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sites that ask you to sign up for a forum or mailing list but forget to add you to the database when you hit submit. So you get left in limbo and nothing happens. It's like trying to eat a slice of pizza but missing and instead getting it all over the floor.

Anything to do with a 'popAd' or cheesy midi music. I think music and video can bring a strong element to your website if it's done correctly. When the pipes open up a bit, I don't see why anyone would shun using these elements to enhance your work.

Scrolling and flashing texts and slow loading pages are annoying as sin.

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