What drives us completely crazy on the internet?

In 2020 we spent a lot more time online browsing thousands of pages from online stores, social networks, websites of all supermarkets to check what hours are open ... I bet I wasn´t the only one! But I'm sure that throughout this year we all went through moments that drove us completely crazy online.

Inês Victorino
Jan 4 • 3 min reading
What drives us completely crazy on the internet?
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I started to look if there were others feeling the same and found a questionnaire where Smashing Magazine managed to summarize the main frustrations of users in 2020. The main ones are related to navigation and yes, obviously, with forms.

Here is the list of what most annoys internet users:

  1. Small buttons and links
  2. Selects to select the country
  3. Push notifications
  4. Unexpected boxes
  5. Losing data from forms when clicking Back
  6. Autoplay videos with sound

How can we help users in 2021? For each of the problems I leave their solutions:

1. Small buttons and links

This problem appears right when we browse our smartphones, the websites have to be follow with the usability standards on small screens. Buttons and links have to stand out and have the standard size to become easily clickable. In short ... bigger buttons and links!

2. Selects to select the country

Never happened to you? Portugal is almost at the end of the list and I often find myself taking too long to find. And other times I end up clicking either in Poland or in Puerto Rico. The best option is an input with the possibility of auto-complete.

3. Push Notifications

Sites are constantly asking us to activate the notifications. Often the website has not even  fully loaded and we are immediately bombarded with the question: Do you want to receive notifications? Can we know your location? I don’t know! Let the user browse and get to know the brand and only present this option to users who spend more time on the website.

4. Unexpected boxes

The wonderful advertising boxes throughout the site ... This problem happens even more on smartphones and continues to make me absolutely desperate. We started to browse the site to read and unexpectedly the content where we were is pushed down or up! In its place appears an advertising box ... Or we try to click on a link and guess what at that moment was an advertising box and there we go to the a video of a car that we don’t even want to buy ... In my opinion the best would be to leave the advertising at the beginning or end of the content.

5. Losing data from forms when clicking Back

How many times has this happened to you? This year for Christmas we order almost all gifts online - this meant going to a lot of different websites and filling out forms several times a day. In some of these forms, if I go back to check something (such as the color of the product, how many units etc. ...) and then advance what I had filled out in the last 5 minutes, it mysteriously disappears. A simple message should appear if we click on the back button - "If you go back you will lose what you have already filled out"

6. Autoplay of videos with sound

Who has never taken a jump scare at 2 am in bed while scrolling on social media? I can speak from my experience and even because I have also been frightened by other people surfing the social networks next to me. We often forget the volume we have on our devices, for this problem I let it be preferable to click on the video or start without sound and the user click to activate the sound.

Right here I leave what really irritates when surfing the internet in 2020, I hope that in 2021 many of these problems will start to be solved or I will have to move to Afghanistan where I hope to remember to lower the volume of the phone before bed.

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