July 26, 2005, 1:28 PM — Pop-up ads and requiring software installs are among the top pet peeves that consumers have with commercial websites, according to a recent survey. The annoyances are significant enough for many consumers to lead them to refuse to visit a site again.
The most offensive annoyances interrupt or interfere with users' ability to get to the information that they are looking for. Examples of these are: pop-up ads; requiring software installs; and requiring registration.
Users also view poorly-maintained sites very negatively. Maintenance issues making the list of top pet peeves include: dead links; content that is out of date; and ineffective site search.
Finally, elements of site design can have a significant effect on users' willingness to return to a site. Design issues that users find especially annoying are: slow-loading pages; confusing navigation; and the inability to use the browser's "back" button.
The survey was done by Hostway, an ecommerce service provider. "The results of this survey are a clear warning to e-businesses," said John Lee, vice president of marketing at Hostway. "Consumers are warning companies, 'you're going to lose my business if your Web site experience is annoying."
Top 10 Pet Peeves about Commercial Web Sites
* Pop-up ads
* Requiring the installation of extra software to view the site
* Dead links
* Requirement to register and log-on before viewing the Web site
* Slow-loading pages
* Content that is out of date
* Confusing navigation