Why do companies feel the need to destroy their user’s experience on their web sites? Today’s example is CNET.com. This is a place where you expect a few things.

  1. Information about technology
  3. Advertising

The last two is where I have issue. Not the fact that they have both, that is a good mix. Free files for some spammy adverts. Often times the ads are well-paired with the content you are viewing. I’m not even getting into the issue where a site that provides reviews for software also is paid advertising dollars from the same software makers. What gets me is the advertising they allow.


User goes to download an update to a bit of software. They get to the download page and find this:

You can click it for a larger view. The user is told to “click the link below”. Yet there are THREE links with the word “Download”, and two of them are ads. I’m sure many many users click the wrong link and begin a path of frustration that leads to confusion, extra toolbars in their browser and some half-assed anti-virus program.

So, either CNET is asleep at the wheel, or they just don’t care about their product. Either way, they are doing it wrong and thus killing their user’s experience.