Can we please say goodbye to the welcome screen?

It's time news sites ceased to describe intrusive, full-screen ads as a "Welcome Screen."

I just know it's happened to you.

You click on a link in an article about, oh, I don't know, particle matter. The link will lead you to a piece of gossip about the personal life of some strange physics professor.

And just as your prurience is at its most piqued, you are assaulted by an ad that reaches right across your screen and asks you to be fascinated by an Intel chip. Or a diaper.

At the top right-hand corner, you read these mellifluous words, ones that might finally lead you to the gossip about the physics professor: "Skip this welcome screen?"

At that very moment, you don't want to skip the welcome screen. You want to leap on it with both heels, crushing it until it can only welcome you to a Minnesota graveyard.

A welcome is all about a smile, not an ad. CC St A Sh/Flickr

You then want to waterboard it until it reveals whose bloody idea it was to name this thing the Welcome Screen.

Rather than, as some wiser publications have termed it, This Ad. Yes, after several brainstorming sessions and a million dollars spent on focus groups, some publications use these words in the top right corner: "Skip This Ad?"

Imagine if you turned up at a party and as the hostess opened the door, she handed you a dish towel and asked you to do some Welcome Drying.

You would surely beat a rather hasty exit. Shortly after calling 911 and asking about local mental facilities.

So why would anyone imagine that the words "Welcome Screen" would make any sentient being feel more disposed to staying on the site? Or even, perish the concept, actually tolerating the ad?

Oh, I know it seems a small thing, but small things often suggest bigger things behind them. Like people who need to have smaller things to think about.

 

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