Have you ever had a tiny pebble in your shoe—nothing major, you can just wiggle your foot and it feels better for a while—and you’re too busy to really do anything about it anyway? You could just take your shoe off and dump the thing out, but it’s not bothersome enough to go to that much effort, so you just put up with it.
Some Web sites are like that: They have little annoyances that aren’t irritating enough to send you elsewhere, so you put up with them. Maybe the navigation is a little counterintuitive, or certain pages take just a little too long to load, or the font size is just a bit too small. Not a big deal…until you find a competitor’s site that does it better, and you take your business there.
A lot of times, simple tweaks can make a big difference in how visitors perceive a site’s quality. That perception, in turn, can determine whether visitors dump out that tiny pebble of Web site irritation and go elsewhere.