Friday, September 14, 2007

Web users ignore things that look like ads

These images are taken from Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, August 20, 2007. They demonstrate the fact that users almost never look at anything that looks like an advertisement. I implore you to read the article.

I recently taught a course where one of the delegates had a web site festooned with ads that were all links related to the company’s own business but put onto the site to “look like ads”.

I pointed out as clearly and politely as I could that the first things she should do when back in the office is to get the things removed but I would take a large wager that they are still there in 6 months time.

For ages Nielsen has pointed out the way that people scan and ignore ads. My bet is this is especially true of the 50-plus. So why do people ignore, one of the few, but well researched, truths of the Web. I guess they think they look pretty – add a bit of colour to the home page. Ahh. Dick Stroud

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