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Don’t make them wait

I’ve been playing various versions of the “Madden” football video game since 1992, and it’s been great! In late 2000, Sony released the PlayStation 2 and one of the first games released for it was “Madden 2001” — and it was amazing. The graphics were much more realistic than any football game in history, and the animations were buttery smooth.

The Kickoff

Things looked so good, that EA Sports (who developed the game) made sure to show them off at every turn. A prime example was the kickoff animation. At the start of each game, after halftime, and after every score, one of the teams kicks off. The animation that led to the kickoff was really cool, but quite complex. Here’s what it looked like:

The problem was that every game would have around 15 scoring plays, making the game roughly 2-1/2 minutes longer simply because of this animation. If you play 30 games with your friends over the course of a few weeks, that’s more than an hour spent just staring at the kicker teeing up the ball. It got old very quickly. In current versions of Madden, they cut to the kickoff with all of the players lined up and ready to go; zero waiting time.

Skip Intro

If you’ve been on the web very long, you remember how sites used to have fancy “intro” pages to welcome you to their site. The good ones would have a “skip intro” button, because virtually no one wanted to waste their time watching the animation — they came to the site for a reason, and wanted to get to it.

Don’t make them wait

Thankfully, very few sites have “welcome” pages any more, but many still put up unnecessary barriers. If your users want information, give it to them. The days of trying to hold back information are long gone; if people can’t find what they want on your site, there are 50 others that can help them instead. This is why it’s important to really think through the content and layout of your site, so that users can find what they need.

In a similar vein, Google has been increasingly rewarding sites that load quickly. Keep your plugins as light as possible and do all you can to help your site load promptly and accurately on any device that tries to pull it up.

What unnecessary roadblocks have you put on your site that could be cleared away?

About the Author

Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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