TAsunder wrote:Nor has anyone offered a single link that would demonstrate that animated banner ads are effective enough to warrant their use.
No link needed.
Anyone can run this very simple experiment.
Focus really hard on something, anything. Without moving your eyes tell me what's next to it. Tell me what's the furthest thing away from it that you can still see.
Humans can't focus their eyes on one thing not still see everything else around what they're looking at. Our eyes and brains are drawn to animation and movement. That's what makes humans good at hunting and gathering. Claiming that people don't even see banner ads is silly. It can't be done.
Human evolution has made are eyes and brains work together very, very well. We're way better at looking at stuff and knowing what they are then we are at reading. Reading is a very recent human idea. That's why we use basic easy to understand symbols to communicate ideas quickly.
Does anyone not instantly know what these mean?
So when you see an eye tracking chart that shows that people spend more time looking at text blocks then graphics we need to ask ourselves why.
Could it be that we read the graphics and understand them much faster? Could it be that reading something simply takes longer?
Is it possible that the results actually show the opposite of what Neilsen says in that the taking longer to look at the text shows it's less effective then the graphic that people "read" much faster?
Are you willing to ignore everything we know about how humans see the world around them?
Do we have to believe that the web is some magical place that somehow makes humans experience it differently then anything else we look at?
What reasons can you think of for an expert, who's spend decades charging clients millions of dollars to tell them graphics don't matter, to decide that what matters is how long someone looks at text vs graphics ignoring everything designers and artists know about how people "read" what they see?
Again while you're reading this did you somehow not still see everything on your desk next to your monitor? If you did please explain how's it's possible that someone could then not even see the banner ads on this site? Do you believe that advertisers would still use banner ads if they didn't produce the desired results?
I choose to use what we know about how humans see, how they "read" the world around them, the lessons that artists have taught us for 1000's of years, the sociology of how people react to what they see, the evolution of how our eyes and brains work together, what we know about good graphic design.....and what usability studies tell us.
Of course you're still free to believe whatever you want. And I'll defend your right to have personal preferences about how you'd like the web to look even if I think the reasons behind them are wrong.