I was really shocked when I first tested the the results after posting my first post and my knee-jerk reaction was to stop showing the ads. The reason, as you may guess was that the ads were suitable more to, shell we say, interactions of the physical nature than to a site than to one dedicated user experience and interaction with software, an activity that typically does not involve body fluids,
I've reactivated a couple of days later and here is the result:As you can see, it is not likely to be of interest to my target audience. But perhaps I'm wrong, a topic for another entry. I am hoping to update this post over time, and am really curious about what is going to transpire.
Update on May 28th
Already on the 26th there was a noticeable change in the quality of the ads Google generated and displayed on the site: There were all contextual to the blog's content. The illustration below is a comparison of ads One of the lessons of this experiment is the importance of conditioning a site to be as productive as possible from a search engine perspective.
I am not sure how many user experience practitioners are versed in the craft of website optimization and web analytics. In my experience, work on a commercial B to C project typically involves heightened awareness to analysis. It does appear that not enough information architects and user experience designers are considering analytics during the design process. Rather, analytics professionals handle optimization as a technical aspect of the site, and after the site has been redesigned and launched.
Avinash Kaushik's blog Occam's Razor provides important insights, many of which are really relevant from an interaction design perspective. Since the demands (or daemons?) for monetizing anything web are becoming a norm, it is important to consider the information architecture in a way the will be effective, providing value 'under the hood' avoiding transformation of the site or application into a 'Times Square'. Best practice approaches can be adopted from analytics and further developed for the purposes of improved user experience.