Ads and Interruptions Destroy Content Experience

Ads and interruptions are the two major factors contributing to negative content experience.

In October 2019, Dejan Marketing research team conducted an open-ended survey involving 1,500 Australians. We asked them to describe what frustrates them the most when reading online content.
In 40% of the submissions, respondents cited that advertisements kept popping up, followed by countless other interruptions to the reading flow (e.g. subscribe calls, needless pagination).

What type of things frustrates you the most when you read online content?

Submission Samples

The format of the page especially the ones with ads everywhere which open when you scroll on a tablet.
Female 65+ QLD
Interruptions by various ads and other content in the middle of the text/article I am trying to read
Female 45-54 VIC
Ads that obscure the page, I typically leave the website immediately when I see one.
Male 18-24 NSW
Advertising that overlaps the text or pictures and cannot be removed. Video ads or content playing in the margin of the screen. Autoplaying sound and videos. Advertising in the margins of the screen that scrolls away with the text and then slides back down the screen and bounces a…
Male 45-54 VIC
When you are reading an article you’re interested in and scroll down to find that it’s one of those ‘page 1, page 2 and so on’ type articles, they’re not only annoying, but quite often the links to the next page won’t work
Female 25-34 NSW
The way you have to keep pressing next. To get to the next page. So annoying !
Male 65+ NSW
The most frustrating thing is to have unwanted messages superimposed upon the content I’m trying to read that is asking for my details and usually requests my email address among other personal details when I’m unsure of what the thing is I’m trying to read.
Female 45-54 WA

In addition to lacking various content quality signals including grammar, spelling and style, the main sources of frustration include uncertainty around content integrity:

  • Is it fake news?
  • Can I trust the author or publisher?
  • Where’s the source?
  • The author sounds biased.
  • Clickbait/bait and switch.

Around 3% of our respondents show strong dislike for paywalls specifically (which can arguably also be classified as a form of interruption). Other common answers include frustration while reading comments, slow-loading content and lack of quick answers.

Gender Age Geography Answer
Male 25-34 NSW Lengthy articles
Male 45-54 NSW Dragging out the end result
Unknown Unknown NSW long dragged out explanations to get to the final message- I tend to just stop reading and log out
Unknown Unknown VIC That they have too much to read
Male 55-64 NSW too many answers
Male 55-64 SA The difficulty of getting accurately to the topic I am looking for
Female 55-64 NSW Too much text on a page
Female 25-34 NSW People waffling on
Male 18-24 WA When information isn’t clear and straight to the point
Female 25-34 QLD finding a defined answer
0 Points