In interaction design, it’s critical to get the flow of actions right. This is about relative priorities. Balancing the business needs (revenue) and user needs. Following is an example of getting it completely wrong, where the business priorities are met at the expense of a terrible user experience.
RTE is Ireland’s national broadcaster. They provide video clips on their website, which are often snippets from their content first published on television e.g. a news bulletin. Video and audio is offered at the bottom of related news stories:
Clicking the link opens a new window where an advertisement is played:
I want to watch the news story, not view an ad. Then this happens:
- Breaking the flow by forcing users to watch a completely unrelated ad before the news story.
- Offering an ad that grates against the video content, in this case a cheery Christmas snack food juxtaposed against a horrific nationwide murder story.
- Making the technology work for the ad, but not for the content.
- Forcing users to download software. I’d guess that the churn rate here is easily over 50%. There are plenty of technologies available that would allow this content to play in the browser without the need to download anything.
A better solution:
- Immediately play the video, embedded in the webpage.
- Offer relevant ads at the end of the video. If the video is a tragic news story, don’t offer ads.
RTE are damaging the long term perception of their brand by meeting short term revenue goals. Not to mention the damage to their advertiser’s brand.