10 Usability Sins that Make me Bounce and Never Come Back

A green emergency exit sign showing a person leaving quickly.

Bounce rate is the number or rather percentage of people who leave your site almost instantly after taking a quick look. People do not click or perform any other action on your site!

Many people bounce due to your own mistakes as a web designer or blogger.

Thus I collected a list 10 of these usability sins that make me bounce and never come back again to avoid whenever possible. See below!

1. Overlay ads hiding your content: I’m off. In contrast if there is a full page ad on white background – an interstitial – I will stay.

Imagine a movie scene hidden behind an ad. The second one would be akin to a commercial break. It’s still interrupting but does not require switching it off.

2. No content on top of the page aka above the fold/without scrolling. When I can see only Google Adsense and banners, I’m gone.

3. Loading too long. I’m in a hurry. In many cases I won’t wait until you loaded all the ads and third party widgets especially if I don’t know what to expect.

4. Portal like information overdose – unless I’m looking for a portal or portal like site. I almost never do.

5. A stupid publication name like “funny images” or “interesting design” or “cool art”. Splog! Most likely displaying stolen content with no attribution.

6. Black background: My eyes are strained! In case you haven’t read advice on readability and contrast for the last 10 years it’s your fault! You scared me away

7. Badly displayed images: either having clearly visible JPG artifacts or wrongly resized: This looks way too clumsy that I leave!

8. “Make $$$$$ quick” with this and that. People seriously buy into that? Make money online and get rich quick schemes are too prevalent to get taken seriously.

9. Smilies and emojis! I like using them from time to time on social media. Lots of huge emojis at the top of the page are ridiculous though.

10. Huge Headlines in Verdana? Gosh that looks ugly! Verdana is no headline font! Only Ikea get away with that design sin.


All these sins do not enhance your site – they break it – while at the same time you can very well live without them.

Please take basic usability into account and remove all of these no-nos. You’ll feel better afterwards. Your site visitors will stay longer too.

Last updated: May 29th, 2018.