In web development, it’s incredibly important to build websites that are easy to use on all devices to keep visitors coming back. The way a visitor feels when they use a website is referred to as “User Experience”. There are very knowledgeable people working on development teams at many companies whose entire job is to make sure the websites they build provide the best possible user experience. I was this person at past employers and I spend a lot of time focusing on it here at my own company. Bad user experience drives customers away and you don’t want that!
One industry that doesn’t seem to value a good user experience is the news media. How many times have you seen an interesting story on Facebook or Twitter, clicked a link and ended up at a website that unleashed an onslaught of ads all over your screen? I’m sure it has happened.
There are sometimes so many ads, in so many formats – pop-ups, slide-overs, covers, static, banners, video, everything! Sometimes crazy complex stuff I’ve never seen before and I’ve been in the industry 17 years! It’s incredibly frustrating. When this happens, I’ll immediately click out of the site and proceed to avoid it like the plague in the future.
Obviously, the news media does this because they rely on ad revenue to stay in business. They sell a ton of ads to almost anyone without concern for how it will impact user experience. There have been instances of ad overload where I wasn’t even able to find the article I clicked through to read.
Personally, I think quality is more important than quantity. I’d rather provide a great user experience with well-designed ads in acceptable formats in less intrusive locations. Instead of selling all of the ads I can, then shoving each ad up some poor website visitor’s ass, I’d much rather they have a good user experience, stay on my site for a long time looking at the few ads I do have and then come back over, and over again.
If you run a news website, or any website, make sure you pay attention to user experience. Don’t let bad user experience scare people away. If you need help with user experience, get in contact with us!
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