Advertisers are “often wrong about what attracts our attention” is the conclusion of a usability study looking at how users interact with online advertising.
The study, published in the report Eyetracking Web Usability by the Nielsen Norman Group (a usability consultancy firm from Jakob Nielsen and Kara Pernice), suggests that text-only advertising is the most effective advertising method for many websites.
Do you think you’re more likely to look at an online ad if it contains 1) a picture, 2) an animation or 3) just text? The answer: just text. [â€¦]
The headline result: simpler is better (not to mention probably cheaper to produce). Participants in the study looked at 52% of ads that contained only text, 52% of ads that had images and text separately and 51% of sponsored links on search-engine pages. Ads that got a lot less attention included those that imposed text on top of images (people looked at just 35% of those) and ones that included animation (it might seem movement is attention-grabbing, but only 29% of these ads garnered a look). [â€¦]
People in the study saw 36% of the ads on the pages they visited â€” not a bad hit rate. The average time a person spent looking at an ad, though, was brief â€” one-third of a second.
This is an evolution of what Nielsen called banner blindness, right?