idea, Internet, UX, web

Ad vs. Content :: Profitability vs. Readability

P.S. I am basically a software engineer, while i am writing this up as just as an UX enthusiast’s fan out of frustrations. So, never mind if you are an expert on this subject matter.

For quite a while, i am totally unhappy with overall readability of most of the web sites, especially the heavy traffic sites. Why they make their pages filled with crapland-ish ads? To add a little salt on the burn, they kept doing pagination. As a preventive measure, I kept using browser-extensions like readability, minimalistic, hacker vision etc.
Is that so tough to create well-designed site with keeping up site’s profitability? In their long run, does their insane amount of ad-pushing don’t hurt or not?

A question on UX.StackExchange just fueled my frustrations. [Is there a point to paginating articles online?]

IMAO, Most of the high-traffic sites still miss some very important points from user perspective.

  • Over the time, since the online era, our subconscious as well as conscious mind are well-trained to ignore ads altogether and focus on the content, mostly on relevant picture. e.g. when i entered a NYTimes for news on Iraq, the new shiny Ford(ad) is totally irrelevant (hence, irritating). In return, my subconscious mind take a silent note on this irritation (entirely due to the ad).
  • As a try to address the fact, ad engines (syndicates) tried to deliver contextual ads and collect and relate search data.
  • What is the result?  once i just needed to know(so, searched) a fact about Nikon D800. Now, everywhere i just see ads of DSLRs. As i already have one, i am not even remotely interested to buy another one. Now, what? My irritation just got a polynomial factor.
  •  Our monitors, even on laptops, are mostly now widescreen(16:9) rather than archaic 4:3. But, the sites mostly are failing to adopt the new display real-estate. Instead the ad’s column (on the right) just multiplied.
  • Yet still, Pagination is the worst factor to “dishonor” the visitor’s “mission statement”. Dividing a single writeup into 4 pages for the sake of showing ads, is just like “holy” water from a fountain of hell. Pagination has being tagged along from the dawn of Internet to break the “payload” into smaller pieces due to slow bandwidth. But now, used as wonderful way to push ads.  Wherever i see  Page |  1 | 2 | 3 | 4|”, my subconscious tells me that as “the content is not for reading, just a packet for ads.” or “why bother to read that all? Let’s click some ads”
  • Every time, i want to see the text bigger, i got to do CTRL+Scroll on mouse.
  • I don’t remember the last time i clicked an ad. When were your last time?  Seems like “ads, ads everywhere. nor any drop to click”.

In my Utopian world of Internet,  i would design reading-friendly and readable (yet, revenue generating) site like this.

What do you think ?

btw, i am keeping this design work licensed under a Creative Commons by-sa 4.0 license.

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