August 1, 2001

  • Playing Whack-a-Mole with Online Ads

    This whole pop-under thing is getting ridiculous.

    I just went the New York Times site and watched as this pop-under loaded:

    Here we have the Grey Lady, the newspaper of record for the entire planet, resorting to sneaky ads that look like Windows systems messages. This can’t be good for the image of the NYT or for the concept of online advertising as something that people might actually want to look at. More and more online advertising is looking adversarial to consumers. This pop-under actually goes to the effort of trying to hide the window title by adding lots of spaces and dots so that it shows as a blank box on your toolbar rather than revealing itself as a browser window!

    I can’t believe this is going to do anything but harm in the long term.

    My suggestion is that all publishers immediately stop accepting anything that is designed to trick visitors into clicking. That includes fake error messages or non-functional interactivity that just causes you to go to the advertiser’s site.

    Now I’m off to play “whack a mole” with more pop-up ads.

July 19, 2001

  • Thought

    Here’s Wired News’ wrap up of this year’s Webby Awards:

    Webby Winners Have Their Say

    I wish I’d been there simply to hear the acceptance speeches, which were wisely limit to five words. Yes, words, not minutes. Here’s my favorite speech — from travel site Travelocity.com — quoted in its entirety: “Thanks, now please go away.” Very clever.

    The article also includes a handy list of all the winners by category with links, so when you’re looking for inspiration, start clicking.

  • Thought

    PICTOPLASMA is a site that I’ve been meaning to mention here at imho*.

    The site is dedicated to illustrated characters and it is absolutely packed with some of the cleverest design you’ll see on the web. It’s great inspiration to do a bit more with design. Of course, the usability of Pictoplasma is atrocious as it is with most “arty” sites. Once you figure out how the site works I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll want on a T-Shirt. Hint: the Archives page you’ll want to hit first is NOT the yellowish ball marked “archive” but rather the yellowish ball ABOVE that yellowish ball.

    Here is a great example of what you’ll find there:

    Auflegen by Kabeljau_blum

July 10, 2001

  • Size Matters

    Most web developers have had the fact that images have to download fast drilled into them. But sometimes, consumers WANT huge files. If I’m about to buy a $600 couch, an $800 stereo or $25,000 car, I won’t mind waiting to get a REALLY big picture that shows lots of detail.

    I wanted to buy an a/v receiver recently and the remote control’s ergonomics were a major consideration. All the sites I visited had either no picture or a small picture of the remote. Before I would buy I needed to see DETAIL on the remote — a two-minute wait for a high-resolution large size image would have been quite justified.

    Of course, this isn’t supposed to give designers an excuse to put huge images all over commerce sites. Add a link beside your products, or features of products that allow for detailed images and note the file size and/or download time.