Annoying Website Features

We’ve all come across them – Extremely small, budget websites that look like they were made by your pre-pubescent cousin. These gems often include some of the most annoying design and functional elements on the internet. Here is a list of things to avoid when asking your cousin to make you a website.

Clickable Image with the sole purpose to annoy

You browse to a website with a list of articles with nice images next to the text. You want to read more and you notice that the image gives you a hand cursor when you hover over it. So, you click the image – But instead of the full article, your browser loads the image directly.

What’s worse is that often, the image isn’t even a larger version of the thumbnail. It’s the same size! Once I came across an image that was somehow smaller than the numbnail. Yes, that’s a typo, but it’s a suitable typo. I’m leaving it because it’s more accurate.

The intuitive thing would be to link it to the full article. If you’re reading the full article page, then perhaps open a lightbox to show the full image instead of just clicking through to the JPG.

This functionality is disabled;

Back in the 90s and even early 2000s, some people thought they were being really smart by disabling the right click menu on their website. They thought that this would stop people from stealing their images and code. It did, if those people couldn’t locate their cache folder, use the print screen button or use the menu option to view the source of the entire page.

What it did successfully accomplish, was to annoy genuine users who were trying to open links in a new window and accuse them of attempting to steal a bunch of worthless low resolution images.

Unfortunately, this year I came across a website that still does this sort of thing.

Let’s hide pages as obscurely as possible.

Nested dropdowns are an abomination created by governments to hide sensitive information that they are still legally obliged to reveal. That’s my conspiracy theory. Because there’s no way that any human being could think that creating an inception of menus and playing a freaking game of operation with them is somehow a good idea.

To navigate this horrible menu, you will need to hover over each menu item to see if it has any children. Some of the ‘best’ menus will have an arrow or an indicator of some sort that will show you if there is a sub menu. If a sub menu magically appears when you hover over an item, you then need to move your cursor over the newly popped up menu. And repeat for however many sub menus are available. The ‘better’ menus will be nice and fat with lots of padding, making it easy to move your cursor from one item to another without accidently moving the cursor off the menu. If you accidently move your mouse away, all your hard drill-down work will disappear. Game over. Start again from level 1.

This patient should just die on the operating table. It would be better to reduce the levels of navigation and have a flatter page hierarchy.

I’ll just open a few windows for you. You’re welcome.

There’s a simple rule. External links open in a new tab, internal links do not. No website should open all its links in a new tab, that is just annoying. The user should control this behaviour with their control key or right click menu.

Websites like this invoke a gut-feeling that I can only describe as a combination of rage and depression.

Hi there! Will you be my friend?

You’re trying to find some information and come across a website with a forum that may be appropriate. You start reading, then the most annoying pop up in the world appears to distract you.

So, you sign up with your email address and participate meaningfully and constructively in the forum. Oh, wait, forget that last sentence - It never happens. As soon as a pop up appears, I look for the close button while consciously trying to ignore the content of said pop up just out of spite.

Unless you’re running a forum that targets pre-pubescents who only write garbage content, it’s not a good idea to have a concentration-breaking pop up with King Diamond asking users to join. If you want a pop-up, make sure it doesn't cover the main content.

My Music Taste Is Awesome, Oh Yeah.

You now have an awesome website, with real information and great navigation. But something is missing.. I know, let’s add some incredibly inappropriate and annoying background music! Oh, and make sure that the user can’t stop the music from running. And make sure it auto plays on page load. It should be a 10mb wav file. Kthnx!

These websites get closed as soon as the music starts running. It’s incredibly annoying, especially if the user is in a public library or trying to listen to music on their headphones. I don’t want to hear bad music. If I did, I’d be listening to fbi radio instead.

News sites do this a lot. I open a new tab, so I can read it when I get up to it. But it starts playing immediately in the background and I hear a bunch of useless parrots squawking at each other. Once again, if I wanted to listen to a bunch of useless parrots spouting garbage, I’d watch Question Time.

Please only have music or video play when I press the button. I shouldn’t even have to mention this in 2016, but I’m afraid people are still doing it.


Please avoid implementing the annoying features as mentioned above. You will be doing the internet a favour and your users will respect you for it.