Reducing Online Ad Noise




I have my ritual every morning from the minute I get to work. I get my coffee; next; ask my colleague (he’s an early to rise kind of guy) if there are any issues that needs my attention ASAP. If none; I put my desk in order; spend the next 15 minutes checking emails and catching up with my favorite blogs etc; then to work.  I’m content with all this except for the last 15 min within which I have to check my emails.



Because I have come to dislike internet Ad’s with a passion; both at yahoo and hotmail. They just take up space which otherwise can be used by the application. I have read a lot of complain in relation to yahoo and hotmail to get ride of the Ad’s and more but I know this won’t happen. Below is an image from hotmail but mind you, this applies to yahoo and other email client providers as well. Google does a better job at this by making the ad’s section very small and very smart by relating the ad’s to the content of your inbox. 



Ad’s are not going to go away any time soon.It wont because the advertising business is a cash making machine. USATODAY reported online ad revenue over $21Billion in 2007 and the interesting part is that internet ad’s account for less than 10% of all Ad’s. Meaning there are lots of room for improvement and money to be made by online solutions like yahoo (with yahoo mail, search , …) , Google (mail, search, apps etc), Facebook and more. I can understand why Ad’s are important to these companies because, after all, we don’t pay for the service they provide. We search and check our emails for free for the most part. Unless you have a premium account or something of that sort.  That’s how they make their profit.



Gladly, I stumbled on a great Firefox extension called stylish and have to admit, its one of the best extensions around. It allows you to customize the look and feel for any site by saving your modifying style in stylish and it does the rest. The best part of stylish is that it has a huge support and contributing community which makes it easier to find styles for many sites. I wasn’t able to find a one for the new hotmail and live sites so I created one and contributed it to the stylish online community repository. Below is a screen shot after applying stylish. You can apply stylish to any site, any web email client. Now, I can enjoy my routing freely. Take stylish for a spine and you wont regret it.



Functions first, then User experience


I use Flash off and on depending on my needs and today, was one of those days. Today, I caught a UX mishap in Flash which should have been caught. How?   So here I am, after importing images into flash, I started laying  my application on the stage. Then oops, I made a mistake placing the the wrong image in a specific frames so I clicked on the image, swap and then pop’s up my swap dialog box. Great!, then the “OOH NO”. I cannot expand my swamp window.I have about 20 images with the same first 15 characters or so. How can this happen, I have to manually check each image to find out which one I’m looking to swap. It was a pain. How could they have missed something like this a colleague asked? It seems that features came first before UX. A common mistake in our industry unfortunately.