Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby fisticuffs » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:01 pm

but I refuse to indirectly give money to forms of advertising that I find to be antithetical to my beliefs about user experience on the Internet.


I'm pretty certain antiethical isn't a word but if it were how the fuck would it apply to the tiny little animated .gif for the High Noon?

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:13 pm

fisticuffs wrote:
but I refuse to indirectly give money to forms of advertising that I find to be antithetical to my beliefs about user experience on the Internet.


I'm pretty certain antiethical isn't a word but if it were how the fuck would it apply to the tiny little animated .gif for the High Noon?


Antithetical. And this article overstates the level of distraction, but pretty well sums up my opinion about when animations are appropriate in terms of usability.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby fisticuffs » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:17 pm

Well there's your problem. You may not have noticed since you have your ad blocker turned on but the internet has changed a little since 1995. How would you think this was in any way supporting your argument that gifs are the devil? Christ man a random internet memo from 1995 has about as much relevance in 2010 as a model A is relevant to the Toyota issue.
In the words of those ad blocking holier than thou interweb nerds "Epic Fail"

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:45 pm

That was written in 1995 but it still applies today, and has been re-iterated numerous times by Jakob Nielsen and other UI experts in subsequent years. Since you can provide no evidence that it is irrelevant nor any reason why we should ignore something written by one of the foremost experts on web usability in the world, I'm guessing you probably have no real data or evidence to back up your claim that it is drastically different now. It just so happens that it was best articulated in that article.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby dave esmond » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:13 pm

Jakob Nielsen might know a thing or two about usability.

But one look at his website shows he doesn't know a thing about graphic design, or advertising.

http://www.useit.com/

My personal sensibilities are offended by the blue on blue type and total lack of graphics. And I'm pretty sure according to the "good web design" rules of 1995 you should never have to scroll down.

Yes animation can be distracting. That might make for bad usability but it's what often drives good advertising.

People use their distracting iPhones way more often then they do a text only 1985 PC. Maybe usability isn't just about getting from point A to B. Maybe you have to get people interested in getting from A to B first by distracting them.

Thank goodness I can do something about my offense. I'll just never visit his site again.

How does one become a "foremost expert" in web usability anyway? Do you just ad the title to your name like "esquire"?

I'll take my good design and usability ideas from Edward Tufte.

http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/index

Even his website is pretty tough to enjoy/read tho'. I tend to want more then just plain text as I find a page of nothing but text really hard to read on the web. So I'm not sure usability even means the same thing to all of us.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:10 pm

dave esmond wrote:Jakob Nielsen might know a thing or two about usability.

But one look at his website shows he doesn't know a thing about graphic design, or advertising.


He knows quite a bit about advertising. Half of that site is ads for his talks, products, or press. I think he has stated numerous times he isn't very good at graphical design and doesn't think his site would benefit from spending money on it.

My personal sensibilities are offended by the blue on blue type and total lack of graphics. And I'm pretty sure according to the "good web design" rules of 1995 you should never have to scroll down.


Which is why he said in 1997 that the no scrolling is no longer true. But he hasn't said that animations are ok anywhere, though he has acknowledged that they aren't as effective as text-ads.

Yes animation can be distracting. That might make for bad usability but it's what often drives good advertising.


Perhaps in some cases. In general, text ads are overwhelmingly more effective.

How does one become a "foremost expert" in web usability anyway? Do you just ad the title to your name like "esquire"?


Probably you: get a PHD in HCI, spend years working in usability areas for prominent companies such as Sun, start up a hugely successful consulting company concerning itself with web usability that in turn is hired by highly successful companies, and get published in numerous, highly-reputable sources that proclaim you such.

So I'm not sure usability even means the same thing to all of us.


That is why you look at it in the aggregate and base recommendations on how a large percentage of users react. If only there were someone who studied that sort of thing for a living...

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby dave esmond » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:39 pm

TAsunder wrote:He knows quite a bit about advertising. Half of that site is ads for his talks, products, or press.


Then why did I notice the High Noon and Willie Nelson ads right away but it took me a few minutes to see his ads?

Because I was distracted by the animation. It got me to look. Which is often 90% of making an effective ad.

He might HAVE ads on his site, he sure doesn't know how to get people to look at 'em.

Perhaps in some cases. In general, text ads are overwhelmingly more effective.


'Cause he says so?

Most people who do advertising for a living would tell you that's bullshit.

Most people simply aren't attracted to text only ads. And if they never look at 'em they can't be called effective.

You're sorta right. Magazine ad people did find that text heavy ads are often the best way to get meaningful information to people. They figured that out a long time ago.

Of course they also figured out a long time ago that far fewer people look at the text heavy ads. So while they are good for getting information across they're pretty bad at getting the average person to read them...therefore they're not a very effective way to do advertising.

So what's an effective ad? One that get's a lot of information across to very few people. Or one that lot's of people look at that might not tell much, but get's a product or name in their head? Clients and ad people long ago figured out it's the second one that's effective advertising. We know people will buy the product they recognize the name of even if they don't know anything else about it. And at the end of the day effective advertising is about making people buy stuff.

Probably you: get a PHD in HCI, spend years working in usability areas for prominent companies such as Sun, start up a hugely successful consulting company concerning itself with web usability that in turn is hired by highly successful companies, and get published in numerous, highly-reputable sources that proclaim you such.


That's exactly what I figured.

Call yourself one.

Get people to hire yourself as one.

You are one.

That's the Sarah Palin model right there.

You might want to see how many people call a Mac more usable then a 25 year old Sun. Somehow they do it without following many of Nielsen's rules.

If only there were someone who studied that sort of thing for a living...


He's far from the only one who studies this stuff. Plenty of folks disagree with him.

I need to know this stuff on a daily basis too. Does that make the "rules" I make up right for everyone? Of course not. They just work for me.

But like most people who do this stuff for a living I can't ignore things like graphic design and the need for effective advertising. Or decide the stuff I'm bad at isn't important.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby dave esmond » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:45 pm

Another pretty good old article.

http://www.alistapart.com/articles/marsvenus/

Makes the point that most of the web needs to fall somewhere in the middle between whizbang design and text only. I'm good with that. It's rarely a one size fits all world.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:00 pm

TAsunder wrote:
He knows quite a bit about advertising. Half of that site is ads for his talks, products, or press.

I'm with Esmond. I looked as his site for about a minute, but I didn't really see anything. It's a giant, boring, mass of text. Nothing caught my eye and nothing piqued my interest. And what's with the enormo-font? I had to manually adjust it so I didn't feel like I was reading a children's book.
TAsunder wrote:
I think he has stated numerous times he isn't very good at graphical design and doesn't think his site would benefit from spending money on it.

Here's what he says exactly:
My original reasons, when I designed the site in 1995, were as follows:

* Download times rule the Web, and since many users still don't have broadband, Web pages can be no more than 6 KB if they are to download in one second which is the required response time for hypertext navigation. Users do not keep their attention on the page if downloading exceeds 10 seconds, corresponding to 60 KB at modem speed. Keeping below these size limits rules out most graphics.
* I am not a visual designer, so my graphics would look crummy anyway. Since this website is created by myself (and not by a multidisciplinary team as I always recommend for large sites) I didn't want to spend money to hire an artist.

These arguments are still relevant, even though most users now have broadband access and can accommodate a few images. Indeed, I have started using screenshot and charts in my articles from time to time.


So, the first reason -- which he claims is "still relevant" -- is actually no longer relevant. The second reason is either hypocrisy or bullshit, you can decide for yourself. Why would I listen to the advice of someone who doesn't think it applies to himself?

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby dave esmond » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:13 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Why would I listen to the advice of someone who doesn't think it applies to himself?


You'd really dig the work of Edward Tufte.

He promotes similar ideas to Neilsen as far as usability, but he doesn't ignore the role good graphics can more often then not play in effective communication. His books LOOK great and are chuck full of great information.

One really good example he shows is this:

Probably the best statistical graphic ever drawn, this map by Charles Joseph Minard portrays the losses suffered by Napoleon's army in the Russian campaign of 1812. Beginning at the Polish-Russian border, the thick band shows the size of the army at each position. The path of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow in the bitterly cold winter is depicted by the dark lower band, which is tied to temperature and time scales.


Image

Graphics win. Text only fail.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:32 pm

dave esmond wrote:Then why did I notice the High Noon and Willie Nelson ads right away but it took me a few minutes to see his ads?


Because you didn't realize they were ads, which makes them the best type of ads possible.

'Cause he says so?

Most people who do advertising for a living would tell you that's bullshit.


Because countless studies of users performing specific tasks on sites have confirmed this.

That's exactly what I figured.

Call yourself one.

Get people to hire yourself as one.

You are one.

That's the Sarah Palin model right there.


You forgot the part where you get a PHD in the field. Where's your PHD in this field, BTW, that you think that you are somehow equally qualified?

But like most people who do this stuff for a living I can't ignore things like graphic design and the need for effective advertising. Or decide the stuff I'm bad at isn't important.


If you can't ignore effective advertising then I suggest you actually do some research on eyetracking and effective web advertising, because at this point it seems you haven't even done a cursory look into it.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:39 pm

TAsunder wrote:
dave esmond wrote:Then why did I notice the High Noon and Willie Nelson ads right away but it took me a few minutes to see his ads?


Because you didn't realize they were ads, which makes them the best type of ads possible.


Huh?
That only makes sense if the purpose of an ad is for it to be ignored.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby fisticuffs » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:42 pm

Because countless studies of users performing specific tasks on sites have confirmed this.


Then link to one. Show me how one line of text is a more effective ad than a small image. That's complete and utter bullshit. I didn't even know there were ads on dudes page. That's how effective they are. This guy isn't any sort of authority on advertising he's an authority on early 90's web design. Might as well be a champion pong player as far as I'm concerned. His site is the dullest piece of shit ever. Even in 1995 it was lame. Usable doesn't equal effective. Usable doesn't equal good. In this case usable simply means dull.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:43 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
TAsunder wrote:
dave esmond wrote:Then why did I notice the High Noon and Willie Nelson ads right away but it took me a few minutes to see his ads?


Because you didn't realize they were ads, which makes them the best type of ads possible.


Huh?
That only makes sense if the purpose of an ad is for it to be ignored.


Well, maybe he can clarify, but I'm pretty sure he didn't ignore 3/4 of the page. He simply didn't realize he was being "advertised to". He most likely looked at those portions of the page longer than most people look at a banner ad. I could be wrong, but I would be surprised. I'd guess he actually clicked on one of them if he clicked on anything.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:58 pm

TAsunder wrote:Well, maybe he can clarify, but I'm pretty sure he didn't ignore 3/4 of the page.

Wasn't referring to anything Esmond said, I'm questioning your above assertion that an effective ad is one which you don't realize is an ad. That simply doesn't make a lick of sense.

If I don't know it's an ad, I'm not getting the message that something is for sale. I mean, I hate to be rude, but duh.


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