User experience designers often express a desire to play more of a strategic role in guiding business decisions. Next to e-commerce, advertising is one of the main ways that companies make money on the web. Revenue from online advertising is expected to grow over the next few years, as advertisers shift funds they previously spent on traditional media to digital media. Yet unlike e-commerce, UX designers don’t always seek to understand the advertising business model so they can maximize revenue. Instead, they often treat advertising as “clutter” - to be ignored at best and actively disliked at worst.
This attitude from designers is in sharp contrast to the attitude of publishers and advertisers, both of whom seek to develop new and engaging ways to reach customers online. Publishers across the spectrum - from large traditional media brands to small self-published blogs - are looking for solutions that serve the needs of both their audiences: the readers who enjoy their content, and the advertisers who have historically paid for the cost of providing this content in return for the “eyeballs” of potential consumers. But to take advantage of the growth in online advertising, publishers can’t just focus on improving ad serving and targeting - or even on creating brighter, flashier ads. Publishers need to look at the overall user experience of their sites, to effectively architect their pages for advertising.
In this session, attendees will learn ways to help advertising-supported sites be more successful. I will present case studies of many publishing sites I’ve worked on, and discuss the business decisions behind them.
20th–22nd March 2009