Thursday, August 05, 2010

I have to wonder...

I used to subscribe to MWEB, a kinda AOL-like web presence here in South Africa. There were numerous reasons I switched to another web provider, but one of the chief reasons was that I was frequently unable to access my blog due to "glitches" in the MWEB set up.

Chief glitch was the fact that the blog page was awash in ads and if even one of those ads failed to properly download and image, you couldn't use the page. All functionality of the page was effectively frozen...until all of the ads downloaded and imaged--and if one of the ads got stuck, so did the page. I can remember literally going days without access to my blog because of an errant ad, tech support able to diagnose the problem but apparently no empowered to correct it. Ultimately, this (plus obscenely high tariffs for what I considered to be seriously below-standard service) drove me to another ISP, where I have been a subscriber now for years.

So, apparently this is not exclusively an MWEB problem, as I have come across it on websites...even my Yahoo mail sometimes suffers from it. And so I have to wonder...why do the people who program these sites require the ads to download before we can use the page? Maybe I am ignorant of some esoteric rule of hierarchy or something, but it seems to me that allowing page functionality first will keep the visitor on the page while the ads download...locking out page functionality while ads download can easily drive people away, especially if they are impatient, have short attention spans, in a hurry, or an ad gets stuck.

There are numerous websites I have visited only once and absolutely refuse to return to. They fall into three basic categories: too many ads obscuring the information I seek; Flash conceits designed to show off the programmer's expertise and artsy inclinations while taking too long to download and giving no informational joy once they finally get there; pages that simply fail to function...or even fully appear...because a cranky ad has subverted my purpose for visiting the site in the first place.

So I have to the purveyors of such sites even consider their potential visitors when they create them? Or is it all ego/pocket driven, with no consideration of what will make a visitor stay, return, and spread the word?

1 comment:

  1. "Flash conceit" - what a perfect term. I absolutely hate flash and also resent having to wait for clunky, poorly designed ads to load. Maybe if you take this onto Twitter a group consensus will form that will shame the creators of this frustration - or not. Norine


Your comments welcome! Anonymous comments are enabled as a courtesy for people who are not members of Blogger. They are not enabled to allow people to leave gratuitously rude comments, and such comments will not be published. Disagreement will not sink your comment, but disagreeable disagreement will.