Though pop-ups are rarely spoken of positively, there are some legitimate reasons why you might need to use them on your website. Pop-ups don’t have to automatically discourage visitors; there are a few things that you can do to improve upon user experience while still committing to your design.
Do You Really Need a Pop-Up?
The first question you should ask yourself when designing a pop-up is whether or not your website truly needs it. Pop-ups are used for two reasons: either to segregate information from the rest of the site or to capture the user’s attention. If you’re using a pop-up solely to capture the user’s attention you may be better off not using one at all. In general, attention seeking pop-ups have a negative impact. In fact, 70% of users are irritated by pop-ups in general.
Can You Use a Modal Window?
When some think of a pop-up, they are really thinking of a modal window. A pop-up creates an entirely new browser window. A modal window looks and acts like a pop-up but is on the website itself and controlled within the same browser window. Modal windows are generally better for two reasons: they cannot be blocked by ad blockers and they do not create another, obstructive, browser window. For things such as advertisements and calls to action, modal windows are usually best. For things such as website features and live chatting, pop-ups are usually best.
Is Your Pop-Up Relevant to Your Visitor?
Contextual advertising, such as the advertising tracked through LeadFox, can be used to make ads and information sensitive to the content on your page. If you are advertising within a pop-up ad, the most important thing will be to ensure that your ad is relevant to your customer. By achieving relevancy, you are providing important data to your visitor rather than providing information that they neither wanted nor needed. Ideally, a pop-up should never be irrelevant to the user’s needs; if it is, it’s likely the user will simply begin to use ad block or leave the site entirely.
Does Your Pop-Up Obscure the Site?
Pop-ups should never obscure either the content or the operation of your site. In order to make pop-ups less obtrusive, you can position them at the side or the bottom of the page. As an example, chatting pop-ups are often pushed to the lower right hand corner. The lower right hand corner is the area of the page that is least likely to contain any content. Additionally, pop-ups should only be as large as they need to be. Pop-ups that are too large could potentially obscure your entire site.
Is Your Pop-Up Responsive?
Many people today use their mobile devices to browse the web. Pop-ups can create some unique issues with mobile devices. A pop-up will often redirect the user’s device to a different page; though the website will still be there, it will be in another tab altogether. Modal window pop-ups, on the other hand, may not work properly at all; they require a responsive design in order to be operable.
Does Your Visitor Know There Will Be a Pop-Up?
One of the most effective ways of ensuring that your users are not irritated by pop-ups is to ensure that the pop-ups are known. Often, this is done with a
disclaimer that is associated with a link; the user is told directly that if they click on that link, a pop-up will be produced. As a corollary to this, it can be useful to put control over the pop up in the hands of the user. If the pop up does not operate at all until a user clicks on a link, the user will feel in charge of the situation. They will know that they made the decision to view the pop-up rather than it being forced on them.
Can the Visitor Easily Control the Pop-Up?
Finally, visitors are less likely to get frustrated if they have direct control over the pop-up once it has been launched. If your visitor can easily close the pop-up or move it, they will still be able to use the site as needed. If the pop-up makes it harder for the visitor to use your website, they may simply abandon it.
Pop-ups still have a role in both advertising and website functionality. If your website or advertising campaign needs a pop-up, the above tips will make it far less likely to scare your visitors away. Just remember to conduct the proper A/B testing to ensure that your pop-ups aren’t harming the productivity of your website.