Hey Yahoo, You’re Optimizing the Wrong Thing

I was visiting my grandparents yesterday, and my grandfather asked for help e-mailing an article to some of his friends. I asked him to show me how he normally writes an e-mail, and taught him the magic of copy and paste (it is amazing if you haven’t seen it before) but I noticed that in the course of sending an e-mail and checking on his inbox, he clicked on this ad three times.

When I asked about it, he didn’t realize he had clicked the ad — he just thought these screens popped up randomly — because he didn’t realize that his hands were shaking on the trackpad.

I’m sure the data says that that’s the optimal place on the screen for the ad. I’m sure tons of people ‘click’ on it. I’m also sure it’s wrong, and it results in a terrible experience.

It’s common sense, but experiences like this are great reminders that data only takes us so far, and creativity and clear thinking are always required to find the best solutions.

Yahoo, please fix this!