Automating Web Design: A Matter Of Art And Science

How much of web design is art and how much is science? According to German firm EyeQuant, it’s mostly the latter. Fast Company states that they are “using machine learning to train their AI to recognize bad aesthetics and poor website design.” Leveraging eye tracking studies that measure attention, they believe that they can algorithmically predict which websites people prefer.

Let’s move behind website design to think about how we can optimize any online creative. Keyword optimization has already moved from SEO and into social media creation and image optimization isn’t far off with improvements in measurement and computer vision. But don’t worry humans, Creative Directors won’t be outsourced to machines…at least for the time being.

MRC Lifts Advisory on Viewable Impressions

The MRC has lifted its advisory on viewable impressions, encouraging the industry to transact based on the metric. A recent blog from the IAB has also officially announced the standard for viewable impressions – 50% of pixels in view for at least 1 sec. While it still does not guarantee ad exposure, it does revalue inventory below the fold and makes us consider new proxies for attention. Viewability has been around for quite some time, but the lack of standards would lead to quite a bit of chaos when it came to transacting with the data. The IAB anticipates viewable video to come by this summer but viewability is just the start. I’d imagine we can expect viewability to be calculated based on total time and perhaps priced on a sliding scale in the future.

Second Screen Or A Flexible First?

Much has been made of second screen apps which let you engage across devices, but many entertainment platforms are incorporating a layer of multitasking within the first screen. Just take a look at Xbox One which highlights the flexible voice control integration. With the commands, one can say “Xbox, snap friends,” for example, which will bring up your friends list in a sidebar during a game without even pausing. Another fitting instance is Touchcast’s vapps which lets creators incorporate apps within the video letting users interact with external media without ever leaving the player.  It’s clear that there is fragmented attention today, but will multitasking features be able to sustain attention on a single screen or is that wishful thinking?