Re: Web-based Help systems and ad blockers

Subject: Re: Web-based Help systems and ad blockers
From: "Ivan Weiss" <ivan -dot- weiss -at- centurytel -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2002 13:42:27 -0700

Chuck Martin wrote:

I'm wondering if anyone has encountered the issue of ad blockers when
creating Help for a web site or a web application, Help that appears in
separate windows rather than the calling page. One of the big annoyances
today's web are pop-up and pop-under ad windows, and in response to
this, a
number of products are available that purport to make these pop-ups and
pop-unders not appear. (I use Norton Internet Security at home myself,
claims to do this, and it does, sometimes.)

But I'm going to be developing a new Help system for one web site and
(hopefully) some field-level Help for another web application. It is
likely that we'll be using JavaScripting to create separate windows for
type of Help. I've already expressed my concern about what ad blockers
do to this, but we haven't done testing yet. (Our web application also
occasionally creates separate pop-up windows for error messages.) I'm
wondering if anyone has created any web-based Help that creates a
window (or any type and size) to display its content, and if you've
encountered users having problems viewing that Help because of
software that they've installed.
I use an ad blocker called Ad-Subtract (no financial interest, just a
satisfied user)that enables one-click filter toggling from my Windows
taskbar. So when I encounter a site that requires viewing a popup, I can
toggle filtering on and off.

But -- toggling filtering on and off is not necessary using this
application when a link on a site spawns a new browser window
altogether. I don't know why that is.

Other ad blockers may be different, and probably you wouldn't want to
allow for all of them, just to open a Help window. But might anyone
savvy enough and motivated enough to use an ad blocker in the first
place also be savvy enough and motivated enough to notice a little
warning under your Help link that says <To use Help, please disable
popup-blocking software.>?

I could be wrong, and I might not be the typical user. But because I
toggle my popup-blocker on and off all the time for exactly these
reasons, I know I'd appreciate seeing a message like that. Hope this is
Ivan Weiss
Vashon WA

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