how it happened: big breakthroughs in web presentation

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I was lucky enough to get a transcript of a high-level corporate meeting in which some important decisions were made about interface design and user experience. Let’s listen in:

Marketing Specialist: “Here’s my idea. When someone starts to read an article on our site, a message will pop up that blocks the reader’s view. The message will say, ‘Sign up for alerts when we publish new stuff.’ And the poor reader can’t get rid of the message unless he signs up or clicks a checkbox to make the message go away.”

Executive: “But won’t that irritate people? Won’t they associate our brand with an unpleasant feeling?”

Marketing Specialist: “Yes, but most importantly, they’ll remember you. And along those lines, do you recall our last meeting, when we discussed how to annoy with video?   

Executive: “Of course.”

Marketing Specialist: “There’s a way to make video and audio automatically begin playing when you visit the site, whether the viewer likes it or not.”

Executive: “So if someone is in a public place like a library, the sound will disturb everyone?”

Marketing Specialist: “Exactly.”

Executive: “I love it. Although it seems both stupid and counterproductive, I’m sure you know best. You’re the consultant.”

Marketing Specialist: “Well, I have one more idea, but it’s just for phones.”

Executive: “Go on.”

Marketing Specialist: “Let’s construct our mobile site in such a way that after someone starts reading, an image will load up above the text and push everything down. That way the reader will lose her place and have to search for where she left off.”

Executive: “Could we fix it so that happens more than once, so readers lose their place over and over again? Hey, I think I’m starting to get the hang of this!”

Marketing Specialist: “That’s brilliant. I think we could do that, yes. I’ll look into it.”

Executive: “See that you do. I’m starting to get jazzed about this. I’m getting smart. For tomorrow – let’s think of ways to have advertisements follow people from page to page.”

Marketing Specialist: “Yes. Like fleas on a dog. You’re going to put me out of work.”

Executive: “Ha ha. Ha ha ha. Ha.”

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