Ads that prevent users from immediately seeing content have been found to be the most “annoying” format, a new study from Inskin Media and On Device Research has found.

On the whole, consumers aren’t big fans of mobile display ads, however, it’s pop-ups that are cited as the most irritating by over a quarter (28%) of consumers, closely followed by creatives sat in middle of a page (26%), while ads which slow down page loading closed the top three (15%).

Aside from format, another factor affecting user experience is the ad content itself. Irrelevant ads frustrate 18% of the respondents and the study has found that for ads seen multiple times, irrelevant ones are 33% more likely to “anger people”.

“Not rocket science”

Conversely, formats competing for attention such as ads moving down the page with content are far less frustrating (13%), and so are ads sitting at the top and bottom of a page (8%).

Inskin Media’s CCO, Steve Doyle, believes picking ad formats is “not rocket science” and advertisers simply need to focus on good user experience.

“For example, unskippable ads, ads which obscure content or those that don’t have a close button should be avoided. If a video ad is autoplay, then at least it should be without sound. If content is hidden by interstitial formats, then they should be easy to close,” he explained.

Ad formats sitting alongside content have also been found to be more memorable. According to the study, users are 134% more likely to remember those than the average mobile ad.

For Doyle, this boils down to giving users the right to choose what they look at and it’s “common sense” not to interrupt their experience.

“Letting them [users] decide when they’re ready to interact with your ad increases its chances of success,” he added.