Beginners Guide to UX in Ads
Annemarie Bufe
Annemarie Bufe

Beginner’s Guide to UX in Ads


Let’s be honest: Most ads are annoying

“85% of people have a negative opinion towards websites with obnoxious or intrusive ads”


But they don’t have to be. How can you transform annoying ads into something that improves the users’ experience? The answer is UX Design.

User Experience (UX) Design is the process of creating a product that is delightful to interact with.

In this case, the product is our ad. The important word here is “interaction”. We want to get away from advertising and start a conversation instead. The number one most important thing in UX Design is research. Luckily, as a good marketer, you already covered that part by doing target group research and tracking analytics. You know what topics your audience wants to see.

Next, we need to think about the environment we place our ads in.

  • Facebook? – If your target audience uses Facebook as a source of news, create news content.
  • Instagram? – Create content with beautiful photography of your target group’s desire.

The same thought process applies to other types of digital ads. You know your own channels the best, write down your target group’s mindset when using each of them.

In the following I will give you tips that are proven to improve the UX of your ad.

Use Native Ads

Native Ads are ads that match the look of the media they appear in. They are not as loud as traditional ads and fit naturally in the interface. Native ads create a seamless transition between the platform’s content and the ad.

Good ads should not just consider technical aspects, but also the user’s expected experience to create interactions. Platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook offer users an array of purposes. Users passively scroll through the feed, actively share photos or stay in contact with other people. How can your company serve these behaviors?

Be Consistent With Your Surroundings

Sometimes it’s good to make an advertisement not conspicuous, different or outstanding. Design your ad’s content to be consistent with the platform it’s placed in. The user won’t be overwhelmed with loud colours, designs and interactive features.

When the app design, for example, uses a dark blue, bold and 14px font for important elements, use these design standards for your ad too. The user will automatically link your ad to important content.

Don’t be Deceiving

You don’t get new customers by deceiving them. You don’t win over a user by letting him “accidentally” click on the ad or not letting him close it again.

Fake or hidden buttons, false promises or other tricks are not the right way to get new customers. In the worst-case scenario, they’ll damage your company’s image and the trust customers place in you.

Create Value

When you follow the tips above and a potential customer clicks on your ad, he’ll expect content. After all, your ad looks unintrusive.

It’s not wrong to ask the potential customer for his contact information. It’s just not what he expects at first.

A well-designed landing page offers the lead valuable information about your industry, company or your product. The chance to have a conversation is much higher when the customer knows what he gives his data for.

Always Use the Brand Name

Even if the user doesn’t click on your ad, the first time he comes across it, he’ll read your brand name, anyway. Over time, he’ll recognize your name, what you do and which services or products you offer. When he requires the services you offer, he’ll remember your company. So add your name to the headline or description.

Also, the user will get curious about exactly what you are doing. He probably thinks “I’ve seen the name often, let’s have a further look at their services.”.

Focus on One Thing at a Time

Nobody likes clutter and nobody wants information overload.

Write down what your target group is interested in the most. Different target groups need different information. Create a simple ad with a clear design, expressive texts and one well-designed call-to-action. Your lead can explore your other offers later.

Create different ads for different channels to have the most impact.

Include a CTA

This is a key element of every ad. Once you’ve hooked your potential customer, show him a clear direction. Make your CTA (Call to Action) stand out and bring your lead to the next step of your funnel.

Time to Act

It doesn’t matter if you design your ad for mobile or desktop, the principles are the same. An ad with UX in mind has to be a seamless transition between content and advertising. The user will remember your company without being annoyed by it.

The above listed tips will help you craft valuable messages for your leads.

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