Create Ads that Enhance Your App’s User Experience

Ads don’t need to detract from user experience. Well-designed and integrated ads can actually enhance UX (and advertiser outcomes).

There are few things that irritate users more than criminally bad advertising in-app. But for every negative, there’s a positive: As much as ads can hurt user experience, they can also enhance it.

To balance the needs of the user with the need to generate revenue, there are 4 key factors to consider.

  • Placements
  • Frequency
  • Ad to Content Ratio
  • Ad Quality

Find the Right Placements

Bad placements hobble user experience and garner reactions like this:

right placements

Well-placed ads can offer value to the user while allowing them to pass them by if they’re not interested. 

Ads between stories or in an active scrolling state are less disruptive to the user than pop ups or interstitials that take work to close.

Control Ad Frequency

When ads appear too often, users usually react something like this:

frequency 1
frequency 2

Controlling ad frequency is the best way to avoid irritating your users and coming off as greedy.

For example, avoid running pre- mid- AND post-roll video ads on one piece of content, especially if it is short. Instead, stick with one option to test, watch reviews for user feedback and find the right balance. 

Determine the Appropriate Ad to Content Ratio

Ads that last longer than content are huge points of contention in app store reviews.

ad to content

Keep in mind the length of content you’re offering, the types of placements you’re using and the perceived value to the user. For instance, If you have a 15-second news clip, you should consider showing an ad that’s skippable after the first few seconds.

Finding the ideal app to content ratio isn’t always easy, but users will always let you know when you’ve gone too far. Generally, it’s a good practice to start with a lower ratio and scale up. When users submit feedback in-app or in reviews, it’s time to dial it back.

Track Ad Quality

There are various forms of low-quality ads, but for the sake of simplicity we’ll apply this term to all ads that don’t fit your app. This includes a disconnect from content or something that creates a jarring experience. This is something users notice:

ad quality

Ads that are from trusted brands that match your app’s tone and align with the needs of your users will likely cause less friction. Select advertising partners and creative types that feel like a natural fit.

Good Advertising Creates a Better User Experience

Don’t overlook advertising when considering the full experience of using your app. There are many factors at your disposal to help you find the right balance between user experience and advertising revenue.

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