I've come up with some sensible rules to stay within my personal limits:
- DO provide relevant content for your users related to the subject material of the website.
- DO market research about your customers: the more you know about them, the more you know what they like and the more clicks you'll get.
- DO invest in prospect analytics platforms like CANDDi to better understand your audience.
- DO provide more text than images.
- DO try to keep any media included to a minimum.
- Do NOT advertise irrelevant or spam material such as drugs, gambling or uninteresting products.
- Do NOT obscure other more relevant content such as the body of an article by using any form of pop-up.
- Do NOT automatically play audio.
- Do NOT play potentially distracting videos without user input.
- Do NOT use flash as this pretty much destroys SEO and ruins experiences, memory and bandwidth.
- Do NOT take up a lot of screen real-estate, as this can affect content on phones or poorly designed menus.
- Do NOT prioritise your material over the actual content of the page or provide any sort of delay to get to the content wished.
- Do NOT take over or modify existing content.
- Try not to include video at all as this can hurt people's bandwidth.
- Try not to necessitate a "close" button - they should be non-intrusive enough not to get in the way.
Some examples of people who do it wrong:
YouTube is one of the worst offenders because it disobeys every single rule here. But a site such as what AdBard used to do sensibly obeys all the rules.
As a bonus, I'll even include space on the next iteration of my own website for relevant advertising if they sensibly obey these rules.
Till next time!
Please note - this blog is to be moved to my own site soon - so stay posted for a link.