Those cookie messages are worse than pointless.

Worse Than Pointless?

Yes. Worse than pointless. They're actively dangerous to your website's success.

Let's say you have a landing page and the one goal you have is to encourage users to sign up for a 30 day trial of your fantastic product. You have a story from a customer explaining how it's helped them save £2,000 in the last year alone and logos showing some large companies that use it. You're selling your service brilliantly.

But then, at the bottom of the screen, a prominent message pops up.

Oh. This looks important. I guess I should do something.

And that's the problem. As soon as you establish these seemingly harmless widgets they have derailed the user's internal dialogue from "Ah this product looks cool" to "What's this little thing in the corner?".

But Don't You Need These Fancy Little Messages?

Nope. When the law came in agencies had hundreds of sites to move over, and so copying and pasting a simple cookie widget seemed like a good solution. It wasn't.

The law states that sites can have implied consent. And that's exactly what these widgets do - they tell you that you're using cookies, "You're fine with that, right?".

They're doing the right thing, but they're doing it a bit heavy handedly.

We know the following to be true:-

  • We need to let users know we're using cookies
  • We need to let users know what cookies we're using (and why)
  • We need to give users some information about how to disable cookies

So in our case study, why not have a simple, friendly, plain-English language plain bit of text prominently but not distractingly placed on your site saying, "To make the site work well we store little bits of information on your computer called cookies. They're not dangerous or creepy - just useful. Read our cookie policy to find out more..."


Comply with the law, but don't hit users over the head with it. And most definitely don't compromise the website's navigational flow for the sake of a tick-box exercise.