Introduction to the ad experience

Back to course
Class 37 Optimizing the user ad experience

Introduction to the ad experience

Beginner | 7 minutes

Let’s start with the foundations: what it is and what impacts the ad experience. Then, we’ll break down how to get complete visibility into it with the Ad Quality tool.

Hey everyone! I’m Noa Meir, Growth Partnerships Manager at Unity and I’m here to talk about the user ad experience. Let’s start with the foundations: what it is and what impacts the ad experience. Then, we’ll break down how to get complete visibility into it with the Ad Quality tool. Let’s get started.

What is the ad experience?

So, what exactly is the ad experience?

When your users interact with your game, most of what they’re experiencing is gameplay. This includes everything from progressing between levels to buying items in the store, and everything in between.

But, their journey through your app extends beyond gameplay. For example, if this user needs a power up, they might click on an ad icon and watch a rewarded video to get this needed boost. Or once a player completes a level in a game, they might watch an interstitial ad.

This layer, the ad, is a key factor in your monetization, but also a part of your user’s experience in your app. This experience includes the type of ads that are displayed – and also their frequency, placement, content, and relevance to the user.

So how can you create a positive ad experience that your users can enjoy, and ALSO maximize performance to drive your business? You need to focus on your overall ad experience. But how do you measure that? Let’s break it down.

Measuring the user ad experience

Currently, some developers don’t have the tools to measure their ad experience, so they’re just building ad flows that they believe will drive the highest performance.

To measure how users interact with ads, you first need visibility into them. The most important metrics to measure the user ad experience are ad duration, clicks, and churn.

Ad duration

As a developer, the length of your ad is a key contributor to your ads’ success. So an important metric to measure is ad duration, or the median time the users spend watching ads. It’s important to measure how and when the ad is closed, and whether it was closed improperly.

An ad that’s closed improperly might be due to technical problems (like crashes), but it can also be intentional (like users force-closing the app). So if you have a high rate of ads closed improperly, or ad escape rate, that’s a clear indication there’s room to improve your ad experience.


Clicks are important for how users interact with your ad, and so it’s critical to measure clicks – especially the intentional clicks. And there are many different kinds of user clicks you can measure.

Let’s say a user wants to close an ad and goes to click on the “X” to exit out. Those clicks, or any clicks in the top corner of the ad with the intention to click on the X, are called proximity clicks.

It’s also important to pay attention to how quickly the user closes the ad. If the user is already trying to click on the X within a second of a creative starting, it’s an early click.

Sometimes users even get directed to the store unintentionally. For example, auto clicks occur when a click is detected without a user even touching the screen, taking them to the store.

If the user didn’t want to end up at the store, they’ll leave the store and return to the app – that’s called a hasty click, or a click directed out of the app that returned to the app within 5 seconds. We also use hasty clicks to calculate bounce rate – the percentage of hasty clicks divided by total clicks.

Once you’ve identified the problematic clicks, just subtract them from the total clicks, and you can calculate QCTR, or quality click-through rate. QCTR is one of the most valuable UX metrics, showing you what percent of your app’s clicks are intentional.


By encouraging your users to play longer in your game, ads can give user retention a big boost – but sometimes they can contribute to churn. By dividing churned users by total engaged users, or users who saw ads from the past 8 days, you get one of the most important metrics in your app: churn rate. Churn rate shows you the extent that your UX issues are causing users to leave for good, affecting both your engagement and revenue.

Improving the user ad experience with Ad Quality

To improve your users’ interactions with ads, you need visibility into these metrics and more. That’s where Ad Quality comes in.

With Ad Quality, you get extreme transparency into the ad content your users see, allowing you to optimize their interactions with your ads. For example, you can use the creative gallery to monitor the ads shown in your app, and track the UX patterns we’ve covered like ad duration, churn rate, and more to improve creative performance. And if you find an ad running in your app that’s inappropriate or buggy, you can report the problem to the ad network. In fact, you can even trigger alerts when this creative re-appears in your app.

So, by being equipped with the tools to measure your ad experience, you can build the best possible UX and maximize performance. We’ll break down more ways you can use Ad Quality to strike this balance in the later episodes.

And that’s all for now! We’ve determined what the ad experience is, how to measure it, and we touched on how to improve it. In our next episodes, we’ll take a deeper dive into what it takes to improve your ad experience, starting with balancing revenue and churn. See you next episode!