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?

  • 1
    Obviously this person's disoriented. Hippies....
    – squillman
    Aug 19, 2009 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? Aug 20, 2009 at 10:01

4 Answers 4


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
  • 1
    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, 2009 at 9:58
  • 1
    Especially the border should help, the black was really to much. Aug 20, 2009 at 9:58

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


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.

  • 1
    Resize good... but moving to the side kinda kills the copy ("Server Fault.... because ______."). Aug 19, 2009 at 3:50
  • 2
    @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, 2009 at 3:51

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

  • Not sure about yellow, but a different color background would be a good start. Aug 19, 2009 at 4:11
  • Actually, now that I check, google uses a peach kind of colour for its ads.
    – John Fouhy
    Aug 19, 2009 at 4:43

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