Advertising in a User Experience.

John C. Dvorak writes in his PCMag article that adverts are too often annoying, obtrusive, and an interruption. He is not wrong.

The problem with advertising is that it is often at cross purposes with what the viewer of the advert is trying to do. In television, the viewer is trying to watch a show. In a written medium, the reader is trying to read an article or story. To be interrupted by adverts is an almost surefire way of diminishing the experience.

Whilst it is true that advertising pays the bills, it is not true that adverts need to be interruptions. They just need to be done more intelligently. After all, no matter what you try, the viewer will not watch an advert that they are not interested in, because they have the capability of processing it as background noise that they can ignore until it changes.

If you can integrate it into the experience, then that is good, or if you can place it somewhere that does not impinge on it then that too is good.

The best course of action though is to make sure that the audience for your product will also be a willing and enthusiastic consumer of your advertising, not just as an advert, but as media in its own right. People stop to watch the “Get a Mac” advertising campaign because… well because people seem to like them. (For my part, I find them infuriating and smug; I prefer the Think Different style of advertising). If you can make the right people want to see your adverts, then you have made a much more successful advert. After all, no matter what you do the person watching your advert can always continue to ignore it and do something else.

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