The Web, it’s often said, wasn’t built by designers but by technologists. And it shows.
This is a particular challenge for media companies. The truth of the matter is online advertising, while incredibly successful as a direct-response medium, has done little to excite brands. There’s a reason why during Internet Week the Web folks talk about getting TV dollars while across town at the Upfronts the TV folks are prepping to take billions of it from brands.
The reason for this is often, ironically, pegged to the need for more tech. Better targeting, better metrics, more efficient buying platforms are the rallying cry of the ad-tech armies. But a bigger difference might be something simpler: good design.
James Meigs, editorial director of the men’s enthusiast group at Hearst, stated flatly at The Digiday Conference yesterday, “The Web has not been a successful experience from a consumer point of view.” People actively dislike online advertising, viewing it as an unwarranted and out-of-place intrusion, he said, noting surveys that prove this. In contrast, magazine readers often see the ads as seamless with the content experience.
“Consumers hate our websites,” he said. “They don’t like the advertising on our websites. They find our websites confusing.”
This is the major challenge facing the Web. AOL has made this a rallying cry with its Project Devil effort, which it takes pains to depict as more than just big ads. It’s a way of rethinking Web design, execs say. Similarly, Say Media and others are moving to declutter publishing sites in order to make the experience better for visitors.
The mere existence of Flipboard and Instapaper is a testament to the failure of publishers to please readers with how they package their content, in Meigs’ view. Those apps are dedicated to rethinking how media is consumed — and they’re proving that there’s a need.
Jim Bankoff, CEO of Vox Media, agreed with Meigs’ assessment, noting that starting a new digital media brand today requires sharp differentiation. That meant, in the case of Vox’s tech publication The Verge, starting with hot-shot editorial voices and also crafting an attractive site.
“Design is as critical as anything else,” he said. “A lot of orgs a/b test themselves to mediocrity and clutter.”
Dentsu’s latest ad report shows slowed growth, driven mostly by inflation
The good news in Dentsu's ad forecast is that there's still growth. The bad news: most of the growth is the result of inflation, while real ad pricing actually dropped a bit.
How chef influencer Tue Nguyen works with the BuzzFeed Creator Network
BuzzFeed's Creator Network has been valuable from an audience and production education standpoint, but Nguyen still drives most of her business on her own.
Dentsu’s new Web3 readiness tool shines light on the tech’s potential to complement AI
Dentsu's Innovation Initiative is launching a web3 readiness index next month — at a time when the industry is obsessed with AI. Could the two technologies actually make a good pair?
SponsoredHow enterprise-grade CDPs are enhancing data processes and improving customer experiences
Produced in partnership with Marketecture The following article highlights an interview between Martin Kihn, Salesforce’s senior vice president of Marketing Cloud, and Ari Paparo, founder and CEO of Marketecture Media. Register to watch more of the discussion and learn how brands are making the most of enterprise-grade CDP technologies. As brands expand across channels and […]
Digiday+ Research deep dive: Publishers large and small put their resources into first-party data
Eighty-two percent of publishers overall say they're already using first-party data to prepare for the end of the third-party cookie, and nearly half are requiring users to register and integrating first-party data segments into DSPs – indicating that first-party data is the clear path forward for publishers heading into the post-cookie world.
Media Briefing: Why publishers hope chatbots will be the latest retention tool
Publishers hope the chatbots they are developing will be the latest retention tool to keep readers onsite and to get them to consume more content.