webcentric - 3:43 am on Sep 6, 2013 (gmt 0)
I'll second that in many ways, the formats look cleaner. I'll also add that I've been waiting for certain features now present for a loooooooong time. Having said that, I'm just a bit more than perturbed with the changes and their timing.
First, I was right in the middle of testing enhanced text ads vs un-enhanced text ads so this change renders that data irrelevant.
Next, we all know that a few pixels difference in where the hot spot in an ad is located in relation to other content on the page can make a world of difference in effectiveness. When it comes to how the eye moves around the page, the locations of these hot spots is critical. These new units completely change the location of the hot spot or distribution of hot spots in ways that are sure to require layout adjustments. One example of this is that up until a few days ago, a leaderboard ad with a single ad in it produced a centered ad (hot spot centered horizontally in the provided space). Suddenly the hot spot has moved to the left. If you've spent any amount of time to organize a page so that the eye moves to the center, you know how disruptive a sudden alignment to one side can be. This can be really noticeable at the bottom of pages which in some cases is the only place I'll put an ad.
I'm also not happy with the fact that despite the background color setting of an ad, it seems you will still get a portion of the unit with a grey background (at least on the skyscrapers I've seen). This makes it all but impossible to blend the unit into the background of the page i.e. using the same border and background color as the page background color. I guess if you want a grey background on all of your pages you can still do it but what a pain.
And lastly, who's to say that the minute I go through and make any necessary adjustments, that things won't change again. I've said it before but text ads are text ads and ads with graphical elements are another animal. I was starting to like the favicons but now it seems I can't have those without a bunch of other nonsense along with it.
Just venting here. My guess is that in the long run, I'll find a way to come to terms with these changes but I hate changing horses in the middle of the stream so, for the time being, I think the solution for me is to turn enhanced features off and give it some more thought. That, and despite my long-time aversion to link-units, they're looking more and more attractive by the minute.
p.s. I guess my last gripe is that it would be nice to have a little advanced warning about things like this but that is sure to be way too much to ask. I know some people saw the new arrow being tested awhile back but I've seen no hint of some of these changes coming. La di da and back to the drawing board it is, literally, but, first a pause...and a stiff drink.