Web Advertising wont work !

August 21, 2008

Yesterday, I was trying to peek into my Inbox before signing off for the day, suddenly some strange sounds of vrooming cars started coming out of my desktop speakers, I checked my media player…nothing wrong, I checked my system sounds…totally OK, then what was it ?

Later on, I figured out that it was from an automobile’s WEB AD playing in one of the popup browser windows. I felt like being cheated and fooled, but what all I can do is nothing but to close the popup and the related website immediately.

This sort of web ad experiences really frustrates and creates a negative image for the websites showcasing them. But still web advertising has a huge market with consistent growth.

Have a look at these examples.

According to our previous experiences with web & other interfaces our brain expects only the button like visuals to be clickable, but when you move the pointer towards the button, you become realize that the whole image is a link, and you again feel like been fooled. The existence of button is just to create a cognitive confusion in reader’s mind.

Similar experience is generated by the ADs having fake forms, which just look exactly like a real-form but have zero functionality and are meant just to grasp your attention even when you don’t want.

Several ADs go one step further by hiding the main content miserably.
Usually these Ads are flash videos with rich graphics and audio and sometimes they increase the page load time without cause.

It’s true that advertisements may be necessary for revenues and site’s existence. But advertisers should think about the users and take care of some aspects.

User should have total control over his system, web Ads with pop-ups and audio-video shouldn’t control the reader’s browser behavior.

Don’t hide the content by overlaying on main-page.

Don’t play with users UI mental model (like with the fake buttons and forms).

Never create a clutter with too much of animation, sounds and hurt usability.

I think with the current pattern web advertising will never work because it’s done to get the clicks, not to sell the product. They unquestionably do the job of grasping the user’s unwanted attention, but they are a big failure to communicate a positive message and brand building. 


2 Responses to “Web Advertising wont work !”

  1. Juhi Says:

    You have a very good point there. Apart from being completely annoying, these ads also build up a negative image of the product/brand in my mind.

  2. Nitin Garg Says:

    ya….and they are worst when they hide the content and also increase the page load time.

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