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Ads in Business Software?

What do you think about ads in business software?

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Banners. Banners everywhere!

Let’s face it, web advertisements are more than just here to stay, they’re multiplying. While the thought of Publishers Clearing House ads dancing in your cursor tracks might be the stuff of nightmares, this picture couldn’t be farther from the reality of modern advertising strategies. For starters, interaction design is often the single most important developer consideration when putting a site, or software, together. Long gone (at least in modern practice) are high contrast, disruptive Ads that prevent you from engaging with content before the message is delivered. Perhaps more important to consider is that ads are often the reason you can read TechCrunch, use Google search, access Gmail and communicate on Facebook without having to pass through a paywall. Heck, it’s why most of those sites and products even exist today. Advertising, then, has enabled otherwise nonviable companies and products to become some of the most prominent, customer friendly organizations in the world, and has directly contributed to accessibility, innovation, and freedom of information, in ways that would have otherwise been impossible. Disruptive ads still do exist however, and have been a tremendous source of frustration from an interaction standpoint. For this reason, and a slew of others mostly related to user experience and perception, advertising had mostly stayed out of business software. Queue the explosive adoption of software among cost-conscious small and medium businesses. The result was that many software developers capitalized on the opportunity to subsidize or entirely cover software development and delivery costs with advertisements with little objection from the business community. After all, the software works, and best of all, it’s free (hooray for the bottom line!)! In some extremely well-executed cases, these efforts have been tremendously successful (just take a look at SpiceWorks), while in others it has resulted in utter failure. So as a company constantly focused on understanding the trends of today to build for the future, help us understand: How do ad-banners affect your perception, your experience, and ultimately the way you decide on a free business software solution. Compare it to a paid experience that’s ad free. We’d love to know what you think!

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