Do ads ruin user experience?


I'm developing some school communication/information software for mobile and browser and I have a question about ads. I was going to have a resources section where people can post useful links and resources(you'd never have guessed), and I was thinking about putting ads in there.

However, we're developing it as a quality, premium product so I'm wondering; would ads ruin that experience or could they be effectively integrated(and how?)?

Software Development Advertising Communication

asked Jul 5 '13 at 18:11
41 points
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  • Have you ever seen a website/app with ads and thought how well integrated they were? Adverts only work on interruption, so by definition they ruin the user experience. – Steve Jones 7 years ago
  • @Steve Case in point: Google. Google's search ads are relevant to your search, and sometimes useful, I'd say they're pretty well integrated. But that's search and by definition it's easy to be relevant, so..... – Jason 7 years ago
  • Please see Help -> Asking for some tips about how to ask good questions. – Jesper Mortensen 7 years ago
  • @Jesper I've changed it so that it's based on experience, research, etc... – Jason 7 years ago
  • I think ads have ruined Google, so it is a case against what you suggest. I never click on ads and almost never see them anyway, due to my ad-blocker, but the ones in Google are often ludicrous and not relevant at all. – Steve Jones 7 years ago

2 Answers


Jason, ads in the resources part of your app can actually be useful if they're closely related to the kinds of products/services that might typically feature in that resources section. If they blend in with the look and feel of the page then I believe they could work well.

Ads aren't in themselves a bad thing; it's relevancy and the degree to which they get in the way of what the user is trying to do that determines whether they're useful or irritating.

answered Jul 5 '13 at 20:21
Gary Monro
11 points
  • Yes, I suppose the question is; could I get ads that are relevant and well-fitting enough through a third part, because it couldn't be practical to go after advertisers myself. – Jason 7 years ago
  • I think pay-per-click ads appear on your site according to the keywords picked up from that site - so assuming the 3rd party ad provider is reading and interpreting keywords effectively the ads could mostly be relevant. Is it something you can try out for a period? You can reduce the number of ads - or remove them altogether - if it spoils the overall service. – Gary Monro 7 years ago
  • Yeah I suppose, our design is pretty flexible. A trial is probably just what we need. – Jason 7 years ago


Is the user paying to access the software? From your post you mention "premium product" which sounds like it will be paid for?

If so then I feel ads are not something you should consider unless they are VERY relevant and useful and, even then, they should be very subtle and not impact the user experience at all.

Ads are acceptable if that is your way of funding a free offering - Facebook is a good example of this. Would I put up the suggested ads and so on on for Facebook if I was paying them? No chance but I tolerate them as I am getting something for nothing.

answered Jul 5 '13 at 20:31
735 points
  • Well I'm kind of in a dilemma because the software is paid for by a school for their staff/students/parents to use. So they pay for what is basically custom software but the individual users aren't paying. – Jason 7 years ago
  • But if the parents refuse to use it because of the ads, then the school won't pay for it, so you lose anyway. In the end, rule of thumb is: free expect ads, paid no ads. – Steve Jones 7 years ago
  • Yeah because the product is not proven I think it best to go ad free. – Jason 7 years ago
  • Your comment about being in a dilemma is really bizarre! As long as someone is paying you then don't worry about who is paying the bill. Sell anything to any business and it will be the same thing - they pay, their employees use and to think that is a dilemma is just odd... – Bhttoan 7 years ago

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