How They Will Make You HATE The iPad

Even with an Ad Blocker, people have to be noticing the annoying crap being added to websites these days.

There are idiotic floating Feedback tabs off to the side.

There are idiotic Social Banners at the bottom.

And then there’s the abomination I ran into today at Salon, which immediately made me think about how the Internet will change for the worse — because of the iPad.

Oh, it’s not the iPad’s fault, mind you. But it will enable more crap.

This time, worse crap!

I’ve stated in two prior posts (here and here) that touchscreens will fundamentally change the Internet as we know it today.

The iPad will be at the forefront of that change.

And web designers will be tasked with creating a new set of abominations.

Here is what happened to me at Salon today.

I went to an article:


Click = big

That’s a typically fugly, cluttered layout. But wait. Notice this area:


Click = big

At some point, when I scroll down the text, that area moves up …


Click = big

and then it sticks!

That’s a persistent ad.

That led me to think about what will happen when sites are — inevitably! — redesigned for touchscreens.

Will will be looking at sites designed like this?

One-third to maybe even one-half of the screen taken up by an ad!

But wait! It gets worse!

What if that’s a revolving ad? After every X number of seconds, it changes?

What if it’s a Google-like ad, that senses keywords in the text and changes to reflect that?

Even worse: What’s if it’s a damned animated ad, as we see on YouTube?

How are we going to be able to concentrate on reading with that clutter?

And all of you people looking at this on Macs — hey, I also went to the Salon article with Safari for Windows. That damned ad was there in that browser too! So, is it possible it’ll also be in Safari for the iPad? (Right now, X number of you are rushing to your iPhones to find this out. Leave a Comment — as if I must ask?)

The Internet is going to change.

The important question to consider with the coming of the iPad is this: Are we all going to put up with it changing for the worse?

35 responses to “How They Will Make You HATE The iPad

  1. So, you’re complaining that the web will act the way the web does now…when iPad is released.

    Be thankful it doesn’t use Flash

  2. No, this is a worsening of today’s web. Look at that ersatz iPad mockup again and see how much of the screen is given over to the ad.

    And you’re technically savvy enough to realize that the absence of Flash will not prevent such abominations. They’ll do it in JavaScript!

  3. It doesn’t do at all what you describe in Safari on iPhone. The link first directs me to the mobile site, that just has a little banner ad in the middle of the article and again at the end. Quite acceptable.

    If I go to the full site, I see the ad space you describe, but the whole page scrolls together.

    Also, I note that as a heavy iPhone Internet user, it’s easy to pinch and zoom to cut out column of ads on the right-hand side. Sometimes you can even resize the page while it’s still loading, so you’ll never have to be distracted by the ads…

    I would have posted a link to a screen snap, but I seem to have a bug, and it’s not working at the moment.

  4. I figured Mobile Safari would act differently, but needed confirmation. What will they want to do with that larger iPad screen, hm? And will the browser ID for Safari on the iPad distinguish it from Safari on the iPhone/Touch?

  5. James Bailey

    Are you suggesting that if I zoom in on the content, the ads will not be forced off the screen? If that were to happen, I think I would call it a bug and report it to Apple.

    One of the nice thing about using the iPhone/iPod Touch to browse the web is that generally you can double-tap the screen and you automatically zoom into the content, leaving the rest of the crud behind.

  6. >>>Are you suggesting that if I zoom in on the content, the ads will not be forced off the screen?

    Yep. That’s exactly what I’m saying. Sites will be designed so you can pinch out on the text at left to enlarge the type, but that ad frame on the right (or bottom, or wherever they place it) will remain in place as a static element that cannot be dismissed.

  7. this article appeared written by apple fanatic.

    you know, there is a simple solution to your problem that the human race has been using since the dawn of time – just freaking ignore them!!!

  8. Thank you for missing the point. Next!

  9. Friendly Stranger

    Here ya go Chucky….

    http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/

    Problem solved.

  10. Mike, I just tried it out on the iPad simulator and it works like the iPhone browser (at this time). But websites might re-make their websites so that it would behave more like your desktop browsers.

    I share your concern about bad changes that will result from the iPad. Right now flash blocking is an easy way to eliminate most of the annoying ads on websites. After Apple reduces reliance on Flash, the ads will be HTML5 and thus harder for typical users to block.

    Regardless, I look forward to trying such things out on an actual iPad.

  11. Macintologist

    You might want to check out this.

    http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/

    Who knows if it’ll work on the iPad, but it’s cool nonetheless.

  12. iphonerulez

    Since I’m using ClickToFlash on my Safari desktop browser all I saw on the site was a floating 3″ square grey box that said “Flash”. I’m so glad ClickToFlash is installed because that’s all I ever see when it comes to banners or any Flash mess unless I want to. I recommend anyone that hates Flash to install ClickToFlash and leave most of Flash world behind. Boycott Flash and let’s all move forward to HTML5.

  13. If the ads get that bad then people will not visit those webpages….and they will have to change. The free market works.

  14. We’ll need a WebKit Browser that has a built-in Ad-Blocker. Apple will at least allow those on the iPad.

  15. Mike: Readability has saved my sanity on this issue. It’s a free bookmarklet/utility that cuts to the chase.

    http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/

  16. Have you tried using the Readability bookmarklet:

    http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/

    One click and you get just the main article content, beautifully formatted.

  17. I think you will still be able to double tap to bring up only the content column and totally get the ad out of the way.

    What you might notice happening more often however, is a column width set with wider margins, then, after a paragraph or two, the margins narrowed and an ad space chunked within that space.

  18. Does no one think there won’t be solutions like this:

    [JavaScript code deleted]

  19. I agree 100%. Content providers who don’t use annoying ads get my traffic.

    I’m sick of:
    – popups
    – popunders
    – watch this ad, but click here if you want to proceeds
    – moving ads
    – flashing ads
    – would you like to take a survey slideovers
    – and all the other things that make the internet an annoying place to be

  20. Hopefully the well designed site layouts will draw more traffic and rise to the prominent position of being emulated by others.

  21. The crap you speak of is not going to be added by the ipad.

    The crap is called business. Business men are the dumbest people on the planet, and any good idea they will mess it up.

    Business, as we call it, will wreak the internet as they have screwed up AIG,worldcom, and any other thing they touch, and had no part in creating.

    Dont blame apple, one of the few companies run by its inventor,

    99% of guys that actually created all of our inventions are fired and replaced with a BOD and a qualified business moron ceo, who eventually sinks the company because he never invented anything in his life.

    Blame the idiot down your hallway for the Ad’s, you know , your boss. The only thing business men are good at are Ads, Ads, Ads.

    The funny thing is they can’t even create them themselves, they have to hire out to a creative agency to do it for them.

  22. How does this have anything at all to do with the iPad or it’s lack of flash?

  23. I would think that the place to combat this would be through the content providers. If websites who host the ads get enough negative feedback and lose eyeballs they would have a reason not to accept extremely intrusive ads.

  24. Lucifer, I think it’s a generational thing. As a forty-somthing-year-old, I find it impossible to ignore flashing, twirling, blinking ads. 20-somethings seem to think they can ignore them, but I wonder if ad companies know better.

    In any case, Mike, I don’t see how the iPad comes into play at all. What you’re seeing is in a desktop OS browser, so it’s not like it’s limited to the iPad. Unless you’re saying that Apple will block ad-blockers. That’s true, but that’s inevitable, anyway, since many sites seem to be able to detect them and will probably do more egregious things in the future (like block content if you have an ad blocker).

    Also, many sites will surely develop custom iPhone apps for their content (such as the NY Times), and surely adblockers would not work on a custom iPhone app.

    What you’re seeing is inevitable on the web, and really has nothing to do with the iPad specifically.

  25. Writing a rant based on speculation and lack of research (you had to wait for another user to try it on their iPhone?) is pretty stupid.

    Unless, of course, you’re trying to blow the whistle on persistent ads, and are lobbying for them to be put to death and banished from all platforms. Even if that’s just a subconscious motive, I applaud the effort.

  26. If you look at the New Yorker, Post, etc. magazines from the 30s-50s, you will notice a ratio of content usually by great current and emerging writers that is startling compared to current magazines.

    The add page count is so overwhelming that seeing magazines [except the New Yorker and remarkably Playboy] today as basically content free thick collections of glossy ads [and you pay for it].

    This is the fundamental business trend to minimize content and maximize revenue producing ads [e.g., TV] and the goal is to condition the audience to accept this. This is the evitable destiny of internet ad driven revenue pages. It is not unique to iPhone and we are seeing the journey to minimize content and maximize ad revenue.

    The number of content rich things/sources is dropping, in fact, my list is very short [used to be PBS and Scientific America, but they are heading down this rat hole] e.g., Consumer Reports and Cooks Illustrated. Clearly nitch markets.

    The other unfortunate consequence of this pattern is the content is not only less it is also less dense. In general it is dumbed down to fit in the small space.

    Can electronic books be the next spot for this downward spiral?

  27. You understand it. Thanks.

  28. >>>Unless, of course, you’re trying to blow the whistle on persistent ads, and are lobbying for them to be put to death and banished from all platforms.

    That’s precisely it. Who are the people who decided these idiotic floating Feedback tabs and bottom Social Banners were a Good thing?

  29. >>>What you’re seeing is inevitable on the web, and really has nothing to do with the iPad specifically.

    Oh yes it does. The iPad is the first touchscreen paradigm that will make it all possible, due to its larger screen. It’s going to bring on a massive redesign of the web. iPhone-friendly websites showed the influence popular Apple devices have and the iPad will accelerate this trend. Plus, there’s going to be a touchscreen iMac by the end of this year to further move it all along.

  30. See my reply to Lou.

  31. I agree with all that you wrote, but also see my reply to Lou.

  32. I had to delete the code sample you provided.

  33. >>>I think you will still be able to double tap to bring up only the content column and totally get the ad out of the way.

    No, you won’t. There are already sites that are designed so their header/logo persists at top while the content below scrolls. Imagine that persistent bit being an ad.

  34. The iPad is a toaster oven

    Think of how you use your toaster oven.
    It’s small portable in comparison to a full sized oven so it’s convenient. It uses less energy than a full sized oven. For those who do not entertain a large group or are not that into cooking it’s more than adequate. Even those that use a full size oven find toaster ovens to be a great supplemental tool.
    It will not cook a turkey.
    Some people will fill that Toaster oven with crap
    and then burn that crap and severe it to you.
    It’s up to you if you are going to eat it.

  35. I just looked. There’s a mobile Slate version, but I went to the desktop version on my iPhone. It does NOT show a persistent floating ad. And, you can smartzoom to the column on the left, and not see the ad at all. That’s the way it has always worked. I have never not had full control to avoid that garbage. It’s the embedded AdMob banner ads that are impossible to avoid.