User Experience and Advertising: When Two Worlds Collide

This article was originally written by Maya Shoham. When talking about advertising and user experience, it seems as if these are two opposites that revoke one another. However, on the one hand, implementing a good user experience is an art – keeping the user satisfied and feeling like he or she is in control is no simple task.  On the other hand, successful advertising is all about giving the user what the advertiser thinks will convince him or her – making the consumer feel as if he or she has a subconscious control of his or her experience as opposed to giving into the mercy of what advertisers decide for him or her. Human computer interaction (HCI) originally highlighted the interaction between man and machine and user experience touched on the way the user feels when engaging with machine. The focus on these current, influential topics – how practical and comfortable a thing was – is now ingrained in many online company philosophies. Recently, user experience has largely become a popular term in the online industry, encouraging those in the industry to take their product from being average to irresistible – promoting the WOW factor for users, and all thanks to one powerhouse company  – Apple. Apple has introduced to the world how something can go from being regular to being world-changing, paying attention to small details like motions and movements. What does all of this have to do with advertising in general and online advertising especially? Unlike User Experience, the field of Advertising has become a haunting term in the online world. With agencies bringing in old media ads into a new media world and pop ups that create banner blindness, online advertising has less than supported best UI design practices. However, if we can design ads that engage users based on best user interface design practices while promoting good user experience, thus eloquently inviting users and allowing them to feel in control of their experience on any website, then, maybe, we can incorporate the two worlds. An online advertiser that’s aware of UI design and UX principles and puts the user first, could really change the way people look at the over online advertising industry. 
Maya Shoham is the Head of Customer Relations at BannerPlay, a revolutionary ad network that gives advertisers and publishers a great user experience with extremely effective and easy to use advertising tools.