Websites are easy to modify and people are often eager to add one feature after another. CMS allows us to choose between many thousands of plugins, widgets and other add-ons. So, it is really easy to clutter our overall design with new things that we can easily add. Just widget here and another there, could actually degrade user experience. There are also other add-ons that we need to remove to simplify our overall designs. As an example, it is no longer necessary to add animation elements in our website. This is what people did many years ago in the past to impress customers. Animated GIF and Flash elements are outdated things that we should immediately remove from our website. Flash actually had some potentials of delivering full-featured online solution.
Other than for animation, Flash can be used for fluid navigation and online apps. Unfortunately, it’s an isolated technology module and can’t be easily crawled by search engine bots. Many websites have migrated from Flash to HTML5 solutions. Another thing that we may need to remove is audio elements. It is now considered as annoying to have tunes or any kind of music when visiting a website. It is quite rare to have a helpful audio element these days. It will also be intrusive to play MP3 music with no way to turn it off. Embedded audio could also eat up some bandwidth and this could be a bad thing for mobile users who have limited data plan.
Long menus should also be removed from our website if we want to have cleaner interface. Long menus may initially look like a great idea. It allows us to reach different parts of the website easily. Long, nested dropdown menus could actually ruin the overall user experience. People want to have simpler ways to reach a desired webpage. Problems could also happen when we have too many categories. We should avoid making things too complicated. Long menus may cause issues with some mobile browsers. With smaller smartphone displays, the website will be harder to navigate. Menus should have less than 15 items and fewer than three nested levels. Ads are often the cause of so much clutter on our website.
Things can get far worse, if we use pop-ups and this really ruin our credibility. Search engine may penalize websites that are built only for displaying ads and we may get poor SERP as a result. In some cases, we can be de-indexed from search engines and there’s no way people can go to our website from Google, Yahoo and other services. It is acceptable to make a lot of money with our website and we may even use Google Adsense to do that. However, in return, we need to provide good value to users Solid content should be our major goal and ads shouldn’t be intrusive. These are things that cause our website to overwhelm people and it is important to avoid these.