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Advertising UX

Taking back control of Product UX


AOP’s April workshop on Ad UX discussed


  • The buy side push for viewability
  • The problems caused by slow loading creative
  • The commercial opportunity for better Ad UX
  • The need to take more control over Ad UX and therefore overall product user experience


AOP have created a separate work stream on ad quality to focus on viewability, brand safety, fraud. This has led to the AOP Member Ad Quality Charter which was presented to the Industry at Inside Out.


A further key takeout of Workshop 1 was that site UX is often compromised by slow loading ads and that it was problematic to enforce compliance with LEAN/BetterAds standards.


Since then we have audited member ad format structures and Workshop 2, in September, gave the following key take-outs;


  1. We need to treat UX holistically. The product team’s role is to balance content with the increasing number of revenue generating tools to deliver maximum audience engagement with the brand. Ad UX is very important but it is only one of the elements that needs to be controlled.


  1. There is a collective opportunity for members to improve UX generally by taking control of AdUX. One Member revealed that they are researching the following hypothesis “anything greater than 70% viewability will not increase ad effectiveness”. It was generally agreed that this would be a useful piece of information to take back to advertisers demanding 100% viewability but that further scale would be required to offer robust proof to the buy side. Members agreed that the best approach would be to allow the initial study and then to adapt if necessary and then to scale out the research into other Publishers to provide the robust data required. It was also agreed that Members should share more of such hypotheses that require further validation at scale, especially those that required understanding and changed practices from advertisers and indeed other commercial partners.


  1. There is a need to interact at an Industry level to improve compliance with LEAN/BetterAds standards. Which is an issue AOP is now pursuing. Furthermore the workshop suggested the opportunity to create a dialogue with Google on Chrome’s ability to ensure compliance to standards.


The AOP continues to explore opportunities for our members to take greater control of their UX.


The following is a summary of the Module discussions at the recent AOP convention:


The goal of this session, following on from previous sessions, was to discuss shared opportunities to build a better overall Publisher UX. The important role of advertising in overall user experience was central to the discussion.


The key issue of slow loading ads is being addressed on two levels;


- Via AOP’s discussions with Google on Chrome Filtering and BetterAds compliance


- AOP’s discussions with the buy side on Ad Quality and through representation on the JICWEBS board.


Therefore this session gave the opportunity to look at how we could co-operate, publisher to publisher and publisher to buy side, to deliver more valuable publishing and advertising experiences for consumers.


Alison Ashworth of Carat made it clear that there is lots of scope to co-operate by taking a more holistic view of a person’s motivations when they encounter an ad.


Why is this interesting? Because the premium publisher environment is one of the best indicators of a person’s motivations and the approach provides a complete contrast to the vogue viewpoint that advertisers should buy “audiences”, a viewpoint that we could take the opportunity to further refute in co-operation with enlightened buy side leaders. Whilst buying an audience no doubt has advantages, the main point it offers is lower price but for many advertisers this will be significantly outweighed by the more important need to reach a person when they are in the right frame of mind. Alison made it clear that many enlightened advertisers and buy side planners are eager to explore the deeper audience connection that could be created, the creative opportunities this would enable and the bottom line effect. It was also clear that “bottom line” was something to be considered in a deeper way than just clicks, signups and last minute actions.


Reassuringly there is an open door for co-operation to take the measures of what makes a good ad away from potential distractions and first level indicators, like viewability, through to more fundamental measures that will benefit premium publishers.

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