5 Things That Push Your Site Visitors’ Buttons

Sometimes we do things on our website with the best intentions in mind but actually create more friction for our site visitors.

Like what, you ask? Below are five examples of interactions that may be putting your visitors off, along with a few possible tests you could run to see how this interaction effect your conversion performance.

1. Failing to optimize your site for mobile

This may seem like old news to some (maybe even most), but the reality is that only about 12% of sites are responsively designed. And since over 65% of internet usage is multi-device, (according to a 2015 comScore report), you can’t afford not to have a responsive or mobile friendly site.

If responsive design is new to you, check the Bootstrap home page to learn more: http://getbootstrap.com/

Hypothesis to test: If you make your site responsive, check the relevant metrics on your mobile performance. Chances are, you’ll see tangible gains across the board.  

2. Autoplay videos

Ever start reading a web page, scroll down a bit and then get knocked out of your seat because the intro to some ad kicks on without you doing a thing? Yeah. It’s annoying.

If you have videos on your site, don’t assume that users want to watch them and please don’t autoplay them just because airing your commercial or product ad is important to you. Think of your visitors and their needs. By autoplaying videos on your site, you run the risk of losing that visitor just because it was more important to play your content.

And if you don’t think it’s that big of a deal, check out these SERP results with plenty of options for preventing auto play:


Hypothesis to test: if you turn off autoplay, bounce rate will go down, average time on page will go up, and pages per visit will go up.

3. Clickable elements that don’t do anything

Yes this happens and yes it’s horrible. This Bournemouth University “strategic plan” site is a triumph of what not to do when designing a site, including making elements clickable that do nothing. BU is not alone, Google is an offender as well (and you would think they knew better, right?):


Hypothesis to test: you don’t really need a thesis here, just make clickable elements do something meaningful and don’t use misleading iconography.

4. Pop-ups… err, um… Site overlays

As Hannah from User Testing points out, pop-ups were the most hated thing on the internet. And now, they’re back! Just what we wanted. However, despite their evil roots, Hannah has some good suggestions on how to make them work and not be so intrusive and annoying. Check our Hannah’s post here for more tips.

Credit: redefinepractice.com

Karl Gillis of AGConsult also had some good advice when using modals: it’s okay to use overlays, just don’t hit your visitor in the face with them as soon as they land on your page. Instead, trigger them when somebody visits 3 pages in a session or scrolls 70% of the way through a blog page. If they are engaged with your content, then an overlay could be useful.

Hypothesis to test: if you wait to show our overlay until 30 seconds after someone has viewed a page, your conversion rate for that call-to-action will go up.

5. Confirm password fields

UX Movement makes a good case for dropping the requirement for confirming a password. They suggest using an unmask option, but I am curious how helpful that is anyway given:

  1. Most of us use the same password so much we could spell it correctly using our feet
  2. You use the save your passwords eliminating the need to remember what you typed in, right or wrong
  3. You’ll end up resetting your password anyway

Possible hypothesis to test: if you remove the confirm password field, sign-ups will increase.

Basically, it all comes down to prioritizing your users, not your numbers. After all, if they find parts of your site frustrating or unusable, they won’t stick around for long anyway.

Interested in AI-powered conversion rate optimization? Visit sentient.ai/ascend to learn more.