We don't need no entry clicks

Type http://soccernet.espn.go.com/ or http://www.tensports.com/ in your web browser and hit Enter. You’ll be taken to a page which will require you to do something before you can gain entry. For the RSI-ically challenged, like me, it’s a pain to have to click one more time or even multiple times.

Or, if you’re a multiple tabs kind of Internet user, it’s irritating to find that the information you requested hasn’t been loaded because you have to click a button or a link or choose an option to go to the home page.

I get it that some sites do this, probably because they didn’t get the memo on making things easy for the user. But, the websites I am mentioning are not obscure websites that are visited by 2 people every week–they probably get hundreds or thousands of hits every day.

ESPN’s Soccernet site asks you the following question:

So that we know a little more about our worldwide audience, please select which region you are viewing this web site from:

Europe/UK
USA/Canada
Australia/New Zealand
Asia
Other

I get region-specific targeted ads when I am visiting sites that I have nothing to do with Bangalore or India. How come this technology hasn’t reached the Soccernet page or the other pages that ask you these kind of questions? (To be fair, since I am using ESPN as an example–ESPN’s website does not have this particular problem.)

And then, there are the websites that have a flash presentation on the “home” page and ask you to “click here to enter”. It’s probably some suit in the marketing department who’s seen a flash presentation on a competitor’s website and thought it was cool. Not.

What all of this ends up doing is wasting the user’s time, irritating the user, and in some cases, drives them away from your website to look elsewhere for information. Clearly, not the things you intended for the user.

Maybe the laws of simplicity should be required reading for all designers of websites.

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