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Advertising and Usability – How to Improve UX in Marketing


No brand should dive headfirst into a new marketing campaign without relevant Consumer Insights to light their path ahead. Otherwise, a dive into the deep end could quickly turn out to be shallow waters. There are many ways brands can fail to communicate with their audiences effectively.

An often overlooked aspect of this is usability. But consumers don’t use ads in that sense, you say? This might be true, but UX principles still define how the advertisement is perceived. Especially in an age where marketing doesn’t always rely on simple ad banners on websites anymore, this is an important consideration.

A market research company can provide your business with clear insights that can help push your marketing efforts in the right direction where usability is concerned. Here, we’ve outlined some of the core principles to look out for.

Why Usability Matters for Ads

For many brands, ads represent the start of the customer journey. One-click, and they enter the sales funnel, ready to be met with more engaging content like website posts and videos, email newsletters, and social media interactions.

Poor placement of ads, or poor design, could quickly waste thousands in marketing budgets. In 2003, 20% of £300 million in online ad spendings were destroyed due to poor placement leading to lower responses.

The simple truth is that usability matters to marketing as much as it does to website design or other elements of your brand identity. A poor user experience when interacting with marketing materials appears unprofessional. Whilst the majority of consumers is good at ignoring ads. You don’t want them to notice you for the wrong reasons.

Whilst usability is an often-ignored topic, here is a checklist of what you should think about before launching an ad campaign.

  1. Test Your Ads Before Launching Them

This is a simple suggestion that not many brands follow! You can test your ads at the concept stage. It can be quick and easy to design an ad, put it online, track and remove it. This allows you to get initial consumer feedback and see how well an ad performs.

If you are using traditional online advertisement to show up on website banners, it’s also good to know how some of these sites display ads. Bear in mind that a website cluttered with advertisement often ruins the user experience for visitors. You want to avoid being another annoyance.

  1. Unobtrusive Popups

If you use pop-ups on your website for your marketing efforts, it’s essential to check how usable these are. Popups can be a severe annoyance for visitors browsing your content. You should follow certain best practices. For one, ensure that there are not too many popups disrupting the visitor’s experience.

Popups can come up when a viewer is just about to leave the site or scroll down through your content. That way, the reading experience is over by the time they are confronted with a pop-up. You should also make it easy to click a pop-up away. If your viewers aren’t interested, you shouldn’t force them to spend more time than necessary. Hidden exit buttons don’t do you any favours.

  1. Colours and Readability

Whenever you design for the web, it’s essential to keep in mind basic accessibility principles regarding your colours and text. The text should be large enough to read even on small displays. The text should also have sufficient contrast to stand out from the background.

When it comes to colours, you should avoid using colours that contrast unpleasantly and disturb the viewer. Nonetheless, vibrant colours can help you stay in their minds! When designing ads, you can test the readability of your design by checking its values in grayscale.

  1. Design for all manner of devices

If you’re publishing a video ad, social media post, or otherwise, make sure your content is suited to whatever device you are distributing it on. Often it pays to create several versions of the same ad in different formats. Portrait style formats for scrolling on the phone, square formats for social media like Instagram, and more comprehensive formats for desktop users browsing online.

Leave The Research to The Experts with The Right Consumer Insight Company

If you’re unsure how users are affected by your ad-design, or you want to benefit from crucial consumer insights, a market research company could support you.

ZAK is a Consumer insights company that focuses heavily on such market research. We constantly draw from our young network of consumers to understand how they interact with brands and their marketing efforts.

Contact us today to learn more and get started on your next campaign.