Where to start?
If you’re not sure which features to add to your wish list, consider these three points before you go any further:
- How useful it is
- The impact on the user
Is it worth it?
You have to balance these three factors and make a decision about whether a feature is right for you and your users. To get you started, here is a list of features that you don’t need.
Also known as a slider. Want to irritate your users? Great, use a slider. Want your users to be able to easily access information and take action on important pieces of content? Definitely don’t use a slider, ever.
Sliders have been proven to be ineffective and offer poor accessibility. Users have become blind to such website features, and they can often be misinterpreted as adverts and ignored.
In certain cases, a carousel could be acceptable. For example’ to be used as an image only slider. But generally speaking, you should avoid these, particularly if they contain important content.
Instead, think about the key message you want your users to take in, and think about how you can best put this across to them. By opting for just one, strong call to action, your users won’t be overwhelmed with choices and you’re much more likely to convert users.
Social media streams
Remember in 2016 when it became a trend to put your social media feed on your website, so your users could see what you’ve been up to recently? What a great addition to a website that was. But it’s 2019 now, and not only do they stick out like a sore thumb, but page loading speeds can be increased by up to 3 – 4 seconds by embedded social media streams.
A carefully styled Twitter feed might be ok, but only if the design is well thought out and theres a purpose for it being there. (i.e you post lots of important information to Twitter)
However, engagement is likely to be low, so it’s best to stick with putting your social icons in header or footer. It does the job and looks much cleaner!
There is genuinely nothing worse than a website with animated text/images all the way down the page. It looks cheap, unprofessional and very confusing for the user.
Instead of animating your website so that paragraphs of text come flying from the left and right of the screen with every scroll, think about how animation can be used to grab attention or enhance user experiences.
Examples of good uses for animation:
- To highlight when you turn a feature on or off.
- As a way to let users know a particular action was a success, such as submitting a message through a contact form.
- When highlighting specific pieces of information, such as prices within a table.
There’s plenty more positive uses, but they all have one thing in common. They have a purpose.
Hopefully, these examples have demonstrated how some popular website features can create a poor user experience. There will be exceptions to these rules, so talk to your designer/developer if a feature is likely to have any unintended consequences.
And don’t forget: always put the needs of your user first, and don’t just add a feature because you can!
If you need help with your website or just some advice on how you can improve user experiences, then i’m always happy to help. You can email at firstname.lastname@example.org and i’ll get back to you within 24 hours!