Three trends that are very popular right now on the web may be making your site a lot less appealing to visitors. Whether or not this is the case will depend upon your target demographic but, if you’re adding features just because it seems like everyone else is, you may want to pause for a moment and consider whether or not your audience really appreciates it.
Feature 1: Endless Scrolls
Sites with large image galleries – such as many of those on Tumblr, which serve as good examples – have been increasingly utilizing auto load features that remove the requirement for users to page ahead when they reach the end of a gallery of images. The problem with these features is that they hang some people’s browsers to the point where they have to manually shut down the process and restart their browser. Consider whether having a lot of frustrated users is really worth the convenience this is supposed to offer, particularly if you run a lot of image content on your site.
Feature 2: Log In With Your “X” Account
These are all over right now; most of these features ask people to use their Facebook account to log into a different site. The issue here is that it directly contradicts some of the best security advice out there: use different passwords and credentials for different sites. Users who utilize one password or account to access many different sites are putting themselves at risk if they happen to have the account they use.
As one further element on this, not everything people do online is really something they want to share. For instance, if they buy new draperies at your online store, throwing a bunch of invitations up at them to share that on every single social network may be more annoying to them than anything else. Share buttons are excellent, but get too heavy handed about asking your customers to do your marketing work for you and they just might want to go somewhere else.
Feature 3: “Sign Up for Our…” Overlays
By the fourth of fifth time a visitor comes to your site, they’re likely to get irritated if their reading keeps getting interrupted by an overlay that asks them to do something they have either already done or already know they’re not interested in. There are plenty of creative ways to pitch a newsletter or mailing list and many of them are far less intrusive than overlays that keep popping up over and over again.