The Motive Web Design Glossary
A banner ad is an image shown on a webpage for advertising purposes.
Along with animation, contemporary ad banners often use simple forms of interaction as a lure, taking advantage of plug-ins such as Flash and Shockwave
to create banner-based games.
Banner blindness describes the condition of people ignoring webpage design elements that resemble advertising banners.
For example, a person may ignore blocks of content or images that are:
- of a similar proportion to an advertising banner (see standard banner ad sizes)
- are animated
- positioned on the webpage in a space commonly-used for advertising material (centre-top, far-right)
Design elements that exhibit any of these characteristics may be overlooked, even when they provide the content that a person is seeking.
above-the-fold, click through rate, CPC, CPM, interstitial, landing page, pop-up window
References and further reading
- Accessible Flash banner ad guidelines (Royal National Institute of Blind People)
A cross referencing of accessibility techniques and WAI guidelines.
- Banner Blindness: Web Searchers Often Miss “Obvious” Links (Jan Panero Benway, David M. Lane, Internetworking)
Seminal research that coined the term ‘banner blindness’.
- Banner Blindness (Jakob Nielsen and Hoa Loranger, Webmonkey)
Design elements that resemble banner ads; either in size or in terms of visual cues; may be overlooked by users.
- Banner blindness: Old and new findings (Jakob Nielsen, useit.com)
20-Aug-07 Four design elements that attract ‘fixations’; revisiting historical findings with the benefit of eyetracking technology.
- Google content blocker (John Walkenbach)
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s advertising for maximum exposure to Web users. Unfortunately, annoying Web content often overwhelms the page, causing many users to become distracted and overlook the ads… (satire)
- The most hated [web] advertising techniques (Jakob Nielsen, useit.com)
Summarising studies by Yahoo! and eBay on responses to commonly-used web advertising techniques. What’s bad; what’s good; and lessons that can be learnt.
- Will plain-text ads continue to rule? (Jakob Nielsen, useit.com)
Text-only advertisements work far better than banners, but is this only due to their novelty? Search engine text ads will retain their superiority over time, but text ads on other sites will work only if they focus on directly meeting users’ needs.
- Where’s the search? Re-examining user expectations of web objects (A. Dawn Shaikh & Kelsi Lenz, Usability News)
Feb 2006: In this study, participants expected advertising to be located either at the center top or the right side of the web page.
Standard banner ad sizes
The following ad units reference voluntary guidelines suggested by the Interactive
- The placement images below are to the dimensions indicated (including the black keyline).
- All measurements
are in pixels.
You’re welcome to copy any of these images for placement
Banners and buttons
Rectangles and pop-ups
Motive Web Design Glossary Trivia