We asked a simple question and the responses were overwhelming. So rather than harp on about our thoughts on usability, we think it's best to just publish people's views unabridged.
What features or functions would irritate you?
"Too much technical information. I am not interested in internal organisation management info."
"Flash and any other similar technologies only as a support - not as navigation (in the case of Flash)."
"Keep the website response FAST. Very fast."
"Make it very obvious where one is in the website. You know the drill - lower the cost of going down a wrong alley. Provide lots of cues in different forms, and multiple routes to the same information to allow for the different ways in which different people think. Make the website easy to index and thus be searched via the main search engines."
"Don't force me to watch movies of any nature."
"Provide alternative means of consuming/accessing the same information. Make it quick to consume, or longer if I have time, at my choice. "
"Don't take the easy way out and provide only (it often seems) pod casts for everything (like the BBC)."
"This is a website that will be used by a broad cross-section of the community. It's going to have to be built knowing that it will be used by colour blind, blind, deaf, dyslexic etc people, and should be designed and built with that in mind."
"Fancy fonts and scripts annoy me. Tiny font is difficult for many website users. I like colour, provided the important stuff I wish to print comes out in black and white. Difficult as it may be, depending upon your sponsor, I would work hard at a website that clearly knows the boundaries between the project management/progress and the political spin. So, no content-free text please! Performance matters that are intended for internal organizational accountability would not appear on the website."
"The biggest problem I have with websites is the finding the bits I want! Simplicity is key, there's no point having an encyclopaedic website if the negotiation of it is labyrinthine."
"Flash intros, whilst being very pretty can quickly become frustrating, despite the ubiquitous 'skip' option."
"Difficult to navigate, difficult to find key contact details (including phone numbers and addresses if desired instead of a web form)"
"Any clutter - and clutter is anything that I can't personalise, any obvious self-glorification, and any corporate w•••"
"All the usual, links that don't work, annoying graphics, news that is out of date, too many layers of information etc etc "