Putting the user experience at the heart of digital advertising

The IAB recently released its new ad portfolio with flexible ad sizes that align with their LEAN principles. These developments represent an important continuation of their mission to put user experience front and center of digital advertising.
Previous generations of ad units have relied heavily on intrusiveness for their impact (think popups / popunders etc), at the overall expense of user experience.
But the growth of ad blockers and a range of other factors has forced the industry as a whole to take a look it’s approach in reaching audiences.
Putting user experience first is critical to getting audiences to open up, on their terms. It’s this point that often gets overlooked in digital advertising. Forcing someone to do something doesn’t typically elicit a positive psychological response.
Quite the opposite, in fact. It can build a negative perception towards that brand.
Instead, by viewing a positive user experience as the “holy grail”, rather than chasing one dimensional metrics like impressions and clicks, we can all build a happier, faster more creative web. Even viewability, which should be lauded, isn’t a measure of whether the user had a positive experience, just that they saw the ad.
User experience is at heart of what we’re driving towards at NEXD: a user-initiated, device agnostic experience that focuses on the audience and how they interact with advertising. NEXD tries to draw in users to positive branded experiences where they can be drawn in by light, playful ads and most importantly remember them.
So while we commend the IAB for these standards, we do also go further. The area where NEXD has decided to eschew the guidelines is the use of HTML. Early on in the product development cycle we saw that HTML-based ads offer limited scope for creativity, increasing file sizes and jamming resource management.
As a result we developed ACGL.
Based around the WebGL framework, this technology allows NEXD to deliver experiences that adhere to the IAB’s LEAN principles, particularly when it comes to reducing file sizes, without having to sacrifice creativity.
With these guidelines and the industry’s commitment to them I am very excited to see what the future brings.

What is LEAN?

The IAB Tech Lab launched the LEAN Ads Program. LEAN stands for Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported, Non-invasive ads. These are principles that will help guide the next phases of advertising technical standards for the global digital advertising supply chain.


Limited file size with strict data call guidelines


Assure user security with https/SSL compliant ads

Ad Choices Support

All ads should support DAA’s consumer privacy programs


Ads that supplement the user experience and don’t disrupt This includes covering content and sound enabled by default.