Huh, so what's the solution then?
I see a lot of articles complaining about this stuff, but so far noone presenting legitimate ideas on how to reach business goals and pay staff for their writing.
That's kind of the reason for sharing. Can we come up with better alternatives? The first step is to identify the problems. I'd love to spark up a discussion on anyone's ideas.
I think the old way needs to come back. Content providers need to get rid of ad platforms and go back to crafting ads to be artwork like they used to be and not just mass spammy pop ups and banners. Honestly, I remember looking at ads in magazines and liking them just a as much at the content because the ad was built with the product and not just outsourced to some Ad agency. If I'm reading through a music magazine and I see an ad for a new DAW, sound card or a microphone; I'm not going to get mad, because it's a music publication. Now if I'm reading though that same magazine and I see an ad for the Common Projects shoes that I just bought that have nothing to do with music and I see them on every page; That is going to get very annoying very fast. The good thing about the pop-ups and banners is that they are extremely easy to block so hopefully, the blocking will get the message to content publishers that their process doesn't provide a good experience and that should force them to look at other alternatives.
I like this idea. So essentially: an ad platform that is curated by the content provider vs using search history and trackers. Wonder how feasible that would be in the marketplace in terms of engagement and pay.
Yeah, I mean it's just a suggestion and there are clear drawbacks to this process. Firstly, it's not really scalable since you're going back to working directly with the brand doing the marketing to create custom content. Secondly, it's costly from a marketing standpoint because you can't really follow the "just include this script/tag" so each experience has to be built into a site or video. This would likely mean that content providers would have to rebuild backend systems to support what are essentially native-ads. Thirdly, it puts a lot more burden on content providers which are already struggling financially to add talent to their teams.
I'm not sure if there is a smooth transition, but it seems once iOS9 hits and consumers discover these content blockers; there are going to be a lot ads and trackers blocked. I already wrote my own content blocker a few weeks ago and I noticed that sites perform and look a lot better. My content blockers was a pretty blunt instrument, but it worked well so I'm figuring that once someone who really knows what they are doing gets their hands on this tech it will be a blanket way to sanitize the web of ads and trackers.
The irony in that article is that I couldn't read it because the social media icons on the left kept covering the text.
Edit: To be clear, I don't have my browser as full screen. Its fine when I make it full screen.
I was just going to ask what device you were using so we can fix this. Sorry about that either way!
I hate the regwall as much as the writer but it's essentially a complaint against Buzzfeed/many many blog formats which are enormously successful.
Site owners can mix content or drop as many display ads as they want. It's how they pay their costs of existence to post the content.
Vote with your visitation. If you don't like a site or its ads... Don't go. Your page views, inadvertent ad clicks (which drive revenue) and the like just promote the bad behavior.
Before I digress, yes this blog has display ads. You’ll find that most do. My goal is to not obstruct the content. I’ll never employ an overlay approach to getting you to sign up for a newsletter or some dumb bullshit. This is my promise to you, the user. Ok, now read on!
I wrote a small disclaimer in the intro to the article. Hope you saw it.
This screen grab is from the beginning of the article. The disclaimer is on paragraph 4 and after the display ad which takes ~30% of the screen.
The issue is that this reads like a lack of understanding of the way content delivery/cost/monetizing works well on the Internet. It's the same rhetoric over and over about advertising:
"Billboards are distracting on the road. They should be gone."
"Ads during my favorite show are terrible. It needs to be ad free so I can just watch"
"These promoted photos on Instagram are in the way of my feed, bad experience"
It's how media works and it's proven. People always say they'll pay to not see X Y Z but the studies always show they never pony up.
Valid points. I'm not trying to complain though I understand it may come off that way in the article. I'm proposing we look for alternatives. Putting information first is the goal. Users come to a website or blog to find answers or learn something new. Disrupting their experience should never be a goal of the website author.
I completely understood and agreed with the premise of the article despite there being some ads on the page. I don't think his message was that all ads are bad, but that designers are using iffy tactics to manipulate the reader's experience in order to gain clicks or conversions. In short, ads: ok, ads that keep me from doing the thing I came to the site to do, which is reading: bad
This is the classic post of a designer that would like to "decorate" in a vacuum and doesn't understand the business goals behind the choices made by others.
Those popups are there because they work. You might not like them but those publications exist as a way to create lists and get readership.
Some of it might be poorly done, but expecting that somehow everyone will become a caped crusader and sacrifice profits in the name of design purity is absurd.
Actually, I completely understand why they are in place but what I don't agree with are the patterns used to sacrifice information (what your users want) for monetization. The internet has become riddled with "bullshit" as Brad Frost would put it and I'm simply proposing we stop it. I don't have a "solution", but I think taking a step back and examining what is going on is a good step to finding alternative methods.
Well, then the only approach is to find an alternative monetization channel. As long as advertisement keeps the lights on, that's how things will be. I would have appreciated if the post went more into this to be honest.
Fair enough. I appreciate your feedback
Those popups are there because they work.
I'm not so sure. There's research out there about how ineffective popups and interstitials are. But even without that research, you don't see popups and interstitials in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. Why? Because they know they don't work and are a poor experience. I was at a native advertising conference last month and the CEO of my company (a native ad tech company) asked leaders from Facebook and LinkedIn how much they would charge for an interstitial/full page takeover. Their answer? $0. They wouldn't do it. Ever. Facebook is basically printing money at this point, all from native, in-feed advertising. Publishers don't need to use popups and overlays. There are better ways to keep the lights on and native advertising is one of them.
Those popups are there because they work.
Can you post some metrics or links?
Just one example, there's many more.
Groupon's customer acquisition was built around it (and it worked, the reason why they essentially failed is that they are in a crappy business).
I worked for a few months in a groupon competitor and felt the same way about takeovers, but all experiments and trials I've run at the time yielded the same result: even with increased bounce rate, the forcing function of a full page takeover more than made up for any negative effects (we're talking about a difference of 8 to 12x depending on the day).
I clicked on this was hoping it was something pleading with people to stop making click-bait style headlines. It definitely wasn't that.
This is a pretty naive article. I don't know why Andy decided to share it on DN as if it would interest any of us.
It's simple, to start a revolution to go about solicitation/advertising in a better way. It should be of interest to you if you work in the world of the web. I shared it here to identify problems with patterns in place. Not for click bait. Something needs to change. Content should be first priority for any web author as that is why users come to your website. Am I wrong in this thinking?
Haha, thanks for the drive-by post with no context or explanation.
Why would this not interest us?
@Rick: Because the Designer News community is likely not comprised of people who would want to use any of these design patterns nor disagree with the article's sentiment. An article suggesting solutions would be interesting, however, as practical solutions (or alternative patterns that have the same financial benefit for the sites that employ them) would be very challenging to come up with.
no u stop it
Haha, I was being silly. I shouldn't post without having my coffee first.
Okay, I caffeined up. In all seriousness, this is an entirely spot-on article. I feel like without even glancing at what is written in articles that exist on sites like these, I preemptively judge their content.
To me it's like the digital version of walking into a restaurant, and the floors are dirty and sticky even though the food could be great. It's really off putting.