Paint.net is confusing

Is it just me or is the Paint .NET web site super confusing? I really like Paint.net and use fairly often but when ever I go to the site it always takes me a while to find the right place to download it.

The site is full of ads, which ok is fair enough I don’t mind the ads – its a free product after all.  Problem is the ad’s have way more prominent download buttons the the actual site itself.  Look at this screen shot.  Where would your first instinct be to click if you wanted to download the product?

Would it be the big red “Download Now” button?  Well no that would be an ad for AVS Image Converter, and you’ve just fallen into their trap!  You should have chosen the small bit of text up in the top right hand corner.

Then you get to the actual download page and scrolling past more ads (which again offer you the tempting big red “Download Now” option, if you didn’t fall for it on the front page you probably would now given this is the Download page) you get this:

So again without thinking about it, which is your gut rection to click.  Well to me the big white box looks like an advert again and the blue link is the link to download.   Wrong again!  The blue text is actually a link to more information about the mirror host (an ad) and the nice image which looks like an ad is actually the link to download the app.

Now don’t get me wrong I like Paint.net itself.  It is a great product.  But the web site is so confusing and I can’t but help wonder if it is intentional – there are many shall we say less salubrious sites on the net that use techniques like this to try and trick users into clicking ads.  I have a “friend” who says torrent sites are notorious for this.

I know they make their money through the ads but you would hope that the folks at Paint.net are above such tactics and that this is just down to poor user interface design but it has been this way for so long now I’m beginning to wonder.

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