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Please Stop Committing UX Suicide for Sake of Revenue

Please Stop Committing UX Suicide for Sake of Revenue

Posted in Front End Development by Jay Simons
Published on March 5, 2024

As a developer navigating the digital realm, I've encountered a dilemma that poses a significant challenge for many reputable companies: balancing the creation of a seamless, enjoyable user experience (UX) with the aggressive drive for ad revenue. This situation can be likened to a well-dressed executive attempting to walk a tightrope amidst high winds, a scenario some critics, namely, myself, might label as "UX suicide." The drama unfolds as companies deploy digital "red carpets" (pop-up requests) imploring us to disable our ad blockers, yet most of us react to these requests as we do to our alarm clocks' snooze buttons—acknowledge and then ignore.

Despite feeling pressured to transform their websites into virtual Las Vegas billboards, companies indeed have several ad partner options. However, major players such as Google, Facebook (now Meta), and Amazon often overshadow the market, creating a perceived scarcity. They are the "cool kids" at the digital advertising party, attracting companies with their sophisticated tools and analytics. Yet, it's important to recognize that the party offers more than just these high-profile guests.

The New York Post Front Page
The New York Post Front Page

The privacy debate adds another layer to this complex issue. Many users aren't just blocking ads for the sake of annoyance; they're actively protecting their personal data, likening it to the last slice of pizza at a party. This leads to an intriguing proposition: what if companies could generate revenue without compromising user experience or privacy? There exists a variety of ad partners that prioritize privacy and aim to circumvent the ad-blocking impasse, such as privacy-focused networks, contextual advertising, and direct partnerships that resemble a friendly handshake more than a corporate takeover.

The question of whether to request users to disable their ad blockers is akin to the polarizing debate over pineapple on pizza—opinions and passions vary greatly. Employing a "please disable" banner is hardly subtle, akin to a bull in a china shop. A more refined approach might involve offering choices, respecting privacy, and maintaining a respectful distance.

Surprisingly, some users are willing to disable their ad blockers, especially if it means supporting their favorite websites. However, fostering this willingness requires trust, respect, and a touch of humor, as we all seek to navigate the internet without feeling bombarded by sales pitches.

Exploring the Digital Advertising Ecosystem

The digital advertising landscape is vast and intricate, offering content providers a wide array of ad partner selections. The impression of limited choices often stems from factors such as market dominance by a few large entities, the convenience of integration and usage offered by major ad networks, potential for higher revenue, and advanced targeting capabilities. These factors can skew the perception towards the big players, overshadowing the diverse range of available alternatives.

Navigating Ad Revenue Generation Without Compromising User Experience

Content providers have several strategies to generate revenue without resorting to intrusive ads or impeding user experience. These include utilizing privacy-focused ad networks, engaging in contextual advertising, exploring affiliate marketing, creating sponsored content through direct partnerships, adopting subscription models, adhering to non-intrusive ad standards, and implementing consent-based advertising. Each approach offers a way to respect user preferences and privacy while maintaining a viable revenue stream.

To Ask or Not to Ask Users to Disable Ad Blockers

Deciding whether to request users to disable their ad blockers is a nuanced consideration. It's essential to reflect on the type of content being hosted and the potential impact on user experience and privacy. If a request is made, it should be done respectfully, suggesting users whitelist the domain rather than disable their ad blockers entirely, and ensuring the adherence to privacy standards. Opting for a discreet, dismissible banner rather than an intrusive modal may serve as a more user-friendly approach.

Effectiveness of Requesting Ad Blocker Disabling

Remarkably, a significant proportion of users¹, particularly younger adults, are willing to disable their ad blockers when requested, provided it enables access to desired content. This willingness underscores the importance of transparent communication and the potential for building a mutually beneficial relationship between content providers and their audience, reinforcing the value of respectful and considerate requests in the digital advertising dialogue.


Striking the perfect balance between user experience and the quest for ad revenue is like trying to sneak veggies into a kid's dinner—both art and science, with a dash of stealth. By championing privacy-friendly ads that blend into the digital playground without setting off alarm bells (or ad blockers), we're playing a smarter game. Think of it as the digital equivalent of hiding broccoli in mac and cheese: users get a smooth experience they love, and content providers still pay the bills. It's about finding that sweet spot where ads aren't the internet's version of a party crasher but more like the uninvited guest who ends up being the life of the party. So, let's cook up a strategy that keeps everyone at the table, laughing and browsing through the courses without a care in the world.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article and I hope you found it useful (or at the very least, mildly entertaining). For more great information about web dev, systems administration and cloud computing, please read the Designly Blog. Also, please leave your comments! I love to hear thoughts from my readers.

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¹ BlockAdblock Article 03/02/2016

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