You shall not pass

Having spent the first morning of 2015 surfing links on my iPad, it's striking to me how much better the user experience of so-called “new” media sites is on mobile than it is for “old” media sites.

It's almost entirely because the newer sites don't resort to full-screen takeover ads which, on mobile, often make it impossible to find the close or skip button because the ad unit isn't centered properly in the in-app or mobile browser. I don't know how many times I've tapped on a link in Twitter to read an article, only to have it hidden behind a giant black blob, with no idea which direction to scroll to find the close button. I wonder how many such sites even bother to test the experience of trying to read their content the way most people find it nowadays, through links posted on social media, on mobile devices.

Let's hope in 2015 we see more native ad units as on most social networks or new media sites, and fewer of these obtrusive non-native ads like banners and full-screen takeovers. Native ads got a bad name somewhere along the line, but their user experience is far superior.