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Pop-up Problems

From decades of User Research, we know that people dislike popups and modals.


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Ulvin Omarov

2 years ago | 2 min read


From decades of User Research, we know that people dislike popups and modals. But even despite this evidence pop-ups are still everywhere. In this blog, we will talk about pop-up problems to reveal why you should never just put it in the pop-up.

The first problem is showing a pop-up before page content loads. This trend is intrusive because user tasks are interrupted before they even land on the webpage. People have grown accustomed to these premature popups and they usually ignore them or look for the fastest way to close them to return to their tasks.

The next problem is displaying a popup right after user logs into their account. When users log in they usually have the next step in mind because they are focused on this next step users will pay little attention to the pop-up and try to close it.

Another common problem is asking for an email address before the user has even interacted with the website. Not only will people be interrupted by this pop-up, its timing and asking for an email too soon people will just assume that the site will then send them unwanted spam or junk mail.

The next problem is asking for feedback before people do anything. Users will quickly close these pop-ups and they have little intent to seek them out again. Don't ask for feedback too soon or else. You risk not getting any when it matters most. Ask users to provide feedback within your page content after they complete a top task.

Another pop-up problem is interrupting users to ask for feedback during those critical tasks. Giving feedback won't often be the top reason for your user's visit, so don't disrupt them with a pop-up in the middle of an activity. Offer a tab on the side of your website or even a link in the footer or a link in the navigation where users can provide feedback.

Another problem is showing multiple pop-ups one after another and displaying multiple pop-ups even on top of each other. This can make your site look unprofessional and disorganized. It can also overwhelm users and force them to spend more effort to close each pop-up.

The next problem is displaying a pop-up before the user moves to a new site. This is problematic because it overemphasizes the transition and can make users feel lost and confused especially if the link opens in a new tab or browser window. Try to remove the pop-ups and minimize the transitions between sites.

And finally showing a pop-up to encourage movement from a site to an application. These can be problematic users who have no interest in downloading a separate application for the occasional task. Even users who have your application on their phone reluctant to switch channels out of fear of having to start an activity all over again.

So you may be wondering when is it acceptable to use pop-ups and the answer is sparingly to resist the urge to follow them and don't inundate your users with pop-ups to bolster short-term metrics.

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Ulvin Omarov

International UX Design certified on Digital Product Design, Web & Mobile UI/UX Design, and Psychology of UX Design with 4 years BG.


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