Does anyone read popups?


Recently the number of websites that use popup dialogues to do a survey or ask for your email address is on the raise. Here is an example from


I can’t remember the last time I actually took a second to read one of them, but the real design issue here is when users go to a website, they want to access information as soon as possible. I the designer (or marketing team) think they can force the user to read something this way, they are wrong. There is a reason that pop-up blockers are embedded in the browsers: they are annoying! A workaround is as bad as the old popup mechanisms.


Simply remove any sort of popup. Some websites use timed popups, so that they distract the user after a few seconds of accessing the information. It’s even worse because it distracts the user after they are engaged in an activity (reading the page) and the chances are even higher that they only look for the close button… hey! A new idea: put the message where the close button should be! Never! It breaks the consistency and users will hate you for such mean tricks.

Put the message (whatever it is) in the page. Imagine you had to deal with a popup for every page you visit on the Internet. That’s not an ideal world, is it?


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