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A curious minimalist on and off web.
Pop-ups, please behave!
As a web designer, it's my job to create these little gems, but as an user I mostly just loathe them. Not because they are unattractive (although, let’s talk about this another time), but because of how they are presented to the user.
Most pop-up ads feel like going into a store and having the clerk jump in your face. Whether they slide from left or roll in from the right, there really isn’t many occasions where I find it appropriate to interrupt my browsing. When something blurs my whole vision, I automatically seek the X on the right top corner. (Clerks usually don’t have this and need actual human interaction. Websites are therefore better.) But alas! If I have to look for the button for too long (or sometimes it doesn’t even exist!), they have lost me. I’ll close the whole page before they can say “We are little sneaky f…”
Ok, I’m not saying I’ve never typed my email address to one, but you need certain smoothness for that to happen. You could be having a 99% off with a free shipping, but if you shove it in my face, I’m likely to step back, or run. There certainly are many statistics about what types of pop-ups are the most effective ones, but if you want my personal and professional opinion, there is a place and time for everything.
For example :
When I just enter the site. I’m curious, just through the door.
‘Welcome, if you want -25% off anything, subscribe to our mailing list:‘Yes Please!’ / ‘No Thanks, maybe later’”
Ok, that’d be nice.
This is acceptable as long as it has the clear ‘not now’ or ‘close’ option (also called as Panic button).
Or, perhaps I have already been clicking through some items, coming back to some, maybe even dropping few to my basket. Then I stop to think about it.. I’m not active on the page, but staring at it with lazy eyes, mentally calculating if my bank account will endure the blow.
“Wow, you’ve got great stuff in your shopping cart.. Buy it now and we’ll give YOU a free shipping! Here’s your code: Freemenow”
Oh yeah, sold! And very possibly will come back, you such nice people!
As a special mention, the notable but definitely not total invasions, that appear with a sleek movement from the side or bottom.
Pop-up! ( Or in this case, pop-under. )
“Hello gorgeous, we want to give you 15% your next purchase just for being awesome.. and for signing up for our newsletter ;)”
How seductive.. *giggle* Don’t mind if I do!
Another big turn off is asking to sign up without giving anything back. Right. Now. (Or with next purchase). Needy, I know, but if you ask my email just so you can possibly send me some amazing promotions sometime in the hazy future, I’m probably going to sign up with my secondary email address ialwayswantedtobeanunicorn85 @ howcoolisthat.com, which I might check once a year. And that, to you, is like not having it.
Love it or hate it, we need this ‘limited time only’ feeling with the surprise element to capture our attention.
So, let’s think about pop-ups, they are useful to get the message through. But the way we use them can in some cases make or break the deal.