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What causes people to leave sites?

From: User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design

Video: What causes people to leave sites?

Just like there are things that help people decide to stay on your site, there are also things that make them quickly leave. It's not hard to work out what these things are; you're probably been frustrated with them yourself in the past. The biggest issues are the things that stop visitors from finding the information they are looking for. It's amazing how many sites hide the information that visitors want to find. The hiding happens in several ways. One is using nonsensical or technical product names in navigation. Who knows the difference between an XY200 and an XY300, for example? Another is using puns or teases in your link text, so the visitors don't know what they will get if they click through.

What causes people to leave sites?

Just like there are things that help people decide to stay on your site, there are also things that make them quickly leave. It's not hard to work out what these things are; you're probably been frustrated with them yourself in the past. The biggest issues are the things that stop visitors from finding the information they are looking for. It's amazing how many sites hide the information that visitors want to find. The hiding happens in several ways. One is using nonsensical or technical product names in navigation. Who knows the difference between an XY200 and an XY300, for example? Another is using puns or teases in your link text, so the visitors don't know what they will get if they click through.

Another way to hide information is by using technical jargon instead of plain language. Remember, even if you're running a site for specialists in a particular field, those specialists all start off as newbies at some point. If you present visitors with a wall of text, they won't be able to quickly scan it and work out how relevant it is. If instead you split it up with headings, subheadings, and bullet points you help people to quickly read through the important parts to see if they are where they need to be. Another big turn off that users report is overly distracting advertising. This is obviously a big trade- off for you as the site designer.

On the one hand you might want to make money from the content you produced, on the other you need to ensure that people stay around on the site long enough to create the ad impressions you need. The balance will be different depending upon what kind of site you have. Remember, your visitors are looking for information. The content you give them needs to make sense to them, not just to you. They might not have the same level of knowledge about the topics you cover or the same level of interest in them as you do. You need to make sure that your content speaks clearly to people right from the beginning. The Back button is only one click away and you don't often get a second chance.

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User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design

52 video lessons · 25005 viewers

Chris Nodder
Author

 
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  1. 1m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
  2. 4m 37s
    1. Building a site for your visitors
      1m 29s
    2. Understanding how people browse the web
      45s
    3. It's all about information
      48s
    4. What causes people to leave sites?
      1m 35s
  3. 3m 50s
    1. Simple design
      1m 9s
    2. Consistent design
      1m 11s
    3. Standard design
      1m 30s
  4. 20m 55s
    1. Elements of navigation
      1m 21s
    2. Content has a structure
      2m 18s
    3. Understanding menus
      3m 19s
    4. Reviewing some menu myths
      2m 4s
    5. Working with site maps
      1m 5s
    6. Adding search to your site
      2m 53s
    7. Understanding links
      3m 43s
    8. Exploring clickable elements
      1m 18s
    9. Understanding Fitts's Law
      2m 54s
  5. 11m 19s
    1. People can begin from any page on your site
      1m 24s
    2. Elements every web page should have
      3m 25s
    3. Creating progressive navigation
      3m 22s
    4. Arranging your content
      3m 8s
  6. 8m 7s
    1. How people read on the web
      2m 31s
    2. Writing for information exchange
      1m 43s
    3. Formatting pages for information exchange
      3m 53s
  7. 7m 21s
    1. Using your homepage as a site summary
      1m 50s
    2. Creating fresh content
      1m 20s
    3. Displaying navigation and search
      1m 25s
    4. The five-second test
      2m 46s
  8. 8m 8s
    1. Showing people what you've got
      3m 50s
    2. Making comparisons easy
      1m 24s
    3. Creating landing pages from ad campaigns
      2m 54s
  9. 11m 22s
    1. The real purpose of detail and product pages
      1m 16s
    2. Writing descriptive text
      2m 4s
    3. Using images to set context
      2m 17s
    4. Showing the price for products
      2m 27s
    5. Have a call to action
      1m 36s
    6. About Us: a special detail page
      1m 42s
  10. 10m 58s
    1. Ask for information in context
      2m 25s
    2. Making forms as painless as possible
      2m 34s
    3. Creating form fields
      3m 37s
    4. Handling errors gracefully
      2m 22s
  11. 9m 9s
    1. Using different types of media
      1m 55s
    2. Simple question: Does it enhance the experience?
      2m 15s
    3. Using graphics for explanation, not decoration
      1m 17s
    4. What is interactive content?
      1m 58s
    5. Laying out your page for media
      1m 44s
  12. 5m 3s
    1. Making money without selling out
      1m 37s
    2. Adding graphical ads
      2m 10s
    3. Creating text ads
      1m 16s
  13. 3m 42s
    1. Simple, consistent, and standard design
      2m 4s
    2. Consider your users and you'll be fine
      1m 38s
  14. 1m 31s
    1. More resources
      1m 31s

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