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Now I realize many of you will say, "what ad?" -- but, we recently got this email from a reader with less than 200 rep.

Twice now in the last 3 days, I've gone to Stack Overflow and have been confused by pages looking something like this:

Screenshot of Ad

I have to manually check that I'm still on stackoverflow and not unexpectedly hanging out with a bunch of hippy sysadmin types. ;-)

The advertisement looks like navigation.

What do you think? Disorienting? If so, any suggestions on how to make it more user-friendly?

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Obviously this person's disoriented. Hippies.... – squillman Aug 19 '09 at 3:48
I think he is just wanting to be funny, hence the ;-). I mean, the "friendly war" between Cable Monkeys and Code Monkeys is as old as IT, and don't we love to sometimes take and give a bit of friendly smack talk to each other? – Michael Stum Aug 20 '09 at 10:01

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I made some changes, as these house ads were starting to bug me a bit too.

  • reversed logo order to prevent confusion
  • made border gray instead of 100% black
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I believe numerous BSOD issues can be fixed by changing the software involved. Certainly not all, but there's a lot of bad drivers out there. So going from driver v1.0 to driver v1.01 with the patch note: fixes BSOD, means there is a code fix for a BSOD. – dlamblin Aug 20 '09 at 9:58
Especially the border should help, the black was really to much. – Michael Stum Aug 20 '09 at 9:58

I didn't realize the logos were that large. Wow. ServerFault seems more prominent than the actual logo for StackOverflow.

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Switch the order, and downsize the logo. It'll be less likely to confuse if the logo isn't top-left and/or most prominent.

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Resize good... but moving to the side kinda kills the copy ("Server Fault.... because ______."). – Alex Papadimoulis Aug 19 '09 at 3:50
@Alex: I don't think it loses the punchline at all if it's reversed. ("...or you could try rebooting again: ServerFault", "Boy, what in the hell did you just do?: SuperUser", etc.) – Eric Aug 19 '09 at 3:51

Give it a yellow border or background like google does, to separate it from the rest of the page?

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Not sure about yellow, but a different color background would be a good start. – Ian Elliott Aug 19 '09 at 4:11
Actually, now that I check, google uses a peach kind of colour for its ads. – John Fouhy Aug 19 '09 at 4:43

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