Website (ad) clutter is a big turnoff

This one should be under the category “Duh,” but it’s amazing how many site operators don’t understand it. Now comes a study of 3,100 Web users that makes powerful arguments for easing the clutter. According to the survey, by Burst! Media and reported in MediaDailyNews, over 60 percent of participants have a low tolerance for more than two ad units per Web page.

More than 36 percent of survey respondents say they leave a site immediately if it appears to be cluttered. When they do remain on a site they believe is cluttered, 73.4 percent of them–men and women alike–pay less attention to ads appearing on its pages.

Still, the perception of clutter is subjective. In other words, one man’s clutter can be another man’s order. Comments Alan Schanzer, managing partner at media agency The Digital Edge: “Ads are only one variable in what makes an environment look cluttered to a consumer.” Numerous components–including page layout, font style, and background color–can also be factors in determining clutter on a Web page.

I’ve long been an advocate of page exclusivity for advertisers, and I absolutely abhor cluttered page design. Thankfully, the trend — even with media sites — is decidedly away from clutter.

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