Color Coded Search Results?

<hidden> anonymous
Created: 2 years and 3 months ago • Updated: 2 years and 3 months ago
I love what Apple has done with advertising on the App Store by giving ads the very slightest light blue tinge to their background. I get it, even Apple sees the value in putting in a small bit of advertising, but I don't think little blue 'ad' icon is enough for me to simply gloss over them. In searching for a college application deadline an ad was served for a job application at Krispy Kreme, where presumably there's no deadline because each store would have different employment needs to fulfill, among other things. I realize that this is more of an ad relevance complaint, but I in no way want to see a tracking system like Google's employed to make ads more 'relevant', but I understand how ads can even sometimes be useful if they are highly relevant to the search terms, but I don't have the time or inclination to bother reporting and correcting every single ad I see on a search page.

I suggest perhaps a light blue, just barely perceptible background, to any ad result. This might even allow for another ad to be placed in the search results, seeing as how it would allow the user to know really quickly whether to get distracted by the ad if, say, they are searching for Christmas gift ideas, or a specific school's application deadline. It would require no effort on either the advertising teams or the user to make sure that ads can actually even be noticed when people are looking for something to buy.

It might even be explanded to a light yellow, green or orange background for a new feature like Google's 'I Feel Lucky' to delineate predicted 'best' result without interfering with searching.

Is it possible to write a Safari Content Blocker extension for iOS that might do the same? I don't want to necessarily block all ads willy-nilly, but I don't want to be reading them completely only to totally dismiss them when they are at the top of the list and contain most of the keywords I'm looking for. That's not a valuable or helpful ad for me to read. I don't ever want to bother thinking about Krispy Kreme ever again now for the interruption they caused, which is alright because there aren't any near me. But I'll avoid them in the supermarket now because of it, not that I had even considered it before. I think an ad, a well designed and placed one, is supposed to take that disinterest but awareness and turn it into a sale, not take it and do the opposite. If it were light blue, I probably would have skipped it entirely. Instead I read it like a search result. I think there's a benefit to advertisers and users with this.

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Thank you all for the many comments, questions and suggestions. Particular thanks go to user x.15a2 for constantly monitoring, replying and helping so many users here. To continue these discussions, please head over to the DuckDuckGo subreddit.

Page design in always a tough thing, what works for one is not good for another. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration, not the least of which is accommodating those with vision issues (color blindness, etc.).

On thing that you'll notice that that (with default settings), when you mouse over a standard search result (non-ad), the background changes to light blue, which does not happen when you mouse over an ad.

Also, please remember that when you report irrelevant results it helps the entire DDG community.

posted by x.15a2 Community Leader2 years and 3 months ago Link
Thanks for the response! I should have been a bit clearer that I was mainly referring to the iOS and mobile versions of the site where mouse-over and hover events simply aren't useful. On mobile, iOS at least, color blindness settings and adjustments can be set by the user as they need to throughout the device in the OS Settings. Not to discount the consideration for design and how the site wants to maintain some color schemes or usability designs, but I still think this could be an easy, even opt-in, change that would benefit usability and the design of the site.

If I were able to produce a content blocker extension to do the same, do you happen to know if DuckDuckGo would try and work around it (would they be okay with it)? Are ad results easily and consistently tagged when displayed? Other ad servers like to hide their ad 'divs' with different or generated tags that help stop content blocker said from picking them out for modification.

Thanks again!
posted by <hidden> • 2 years and 3 months ago Link