August 15, 2002

Pop-Up Warfare: Is Peace Possible?
Clickz is a great site, and two recent articles on popup ads show why:

In Ad Policies or Ad Hoc?, Rebecca Lieb asks what standards publishers have for popups and what guidelines do they have in regards to user experience and interaction:

"An iVillage survey found 92.5 percent of its users thought pop-ups were the most irritating thing about the Web and the ads damaged advertisers' brands. Similarly, an AOL study recently found user satisfaction increased in inverse proportion to the number of pop-ups visitors saw. This prompted the company to cut back on the format."..."iVillage and AOL's decisions to nix (or reduce) usage of an ad format calls a larger issue into question: Have online publishers drafted formal policies or guidelines related to user experience?"..."an industrywide lack of policies and guidelines indicates publishers' approach to advertisers and users is ad hoc and reactive."

In Pop-Up Warfare: Is Peace Possible?, Tessa Wegert seeks some middle ground:
"Publishers share liability for letting the situation get this far by not insisting on better targeting and demanding frequency caps. As one of ClickZ's coeditors pointed out recently, it's about giving more thought to the user experience. The solution isn't to eschew ad formats users might find frustrating. Rather, it's to standardize the use of advertising in a way users will approve of. What better way to mollify visitors and still bring in the revenues pop-ups provide?"

Targeted ads are less intrusive - Google has proven this well. Popups and popunders generally suck, but if they were targeted more and didn't assault you from every page on a site, and if they would let you leave a site without one last parting plug, then they'd be much more tolerable.

Related posts:
- Pop-up ads are viruses
- Why I love pop-up ads
- Don't let your web site fall out of the window

Related elsewhere:
- Top five frustrations experienced by Web shoppers - by Luc Carton of LucDesk fame
- Net Mechanic - Pop-Up Windows And Accessibility
- UI Access - On Spawned Windows (accessibility considerations)

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