Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Fourth, Unethical, Path to Ad Fixations

Jakob Nielsen on banner blindness

I've been reluctant to discuss one of the findings from our eyetracking research because the conclusion is that unethical design pays off.

In 1997, I chose to suppress a similar finding: users tend to click on banner ads that look like dialog boxes, complete with fake OK and Cancel buttons. Of course, instead of being an actual system message -- such as "Your Internet Connection Is Not Optimized" -- the banner is just a picture of a dialog box, and clicking its close box doesn't dismiss it, but rather takes users to the advertiser's site. Deceptive, unethical, and #3 among the most-hated advertising techniques. Still, fake dialog boxes got many more clicks than regular banners, which users had already started to ignore in 1997.

2 comments:

"Post-Google" by TAR ART RAT said...

that is surprising, actually- although those ads are tricky, you would think after you see one that you would be able to recognize them from then on out- as they do appear slightly different.
Ethics adn advertisement... ok here is a twisted theory: you know that baby sloth video that was in the blog a few weeks back? I noticed that the baby sloth is in a SHARP television box... and couldn't help but wondering if the whole thing was just a subliminal SHARP ad... how perfect of an ad would that be??? there you are mesmerized by this baby sloth adn the SHARP logo comes in and out fo view while you are coo-ing and awe-ing... I wouldn't rule out the possibilily, if you were looking for free and extremely effective advertising on the web that is certainly an excellent way to go... and SUPER unethical in a way... alas.

Ithaca said...

yes, you are missing out on an opportunity to get sponsorship for your dogsitter-leaps-to-doorframe video (and with the right money you could probably improve your times...)