The decision whether or not to use a pop-up on your website deserves some serious consideration. There is always work to be done on design and user experience to enable conversion and website engagement, but is using a pop-up the answer?
Our thoughts at Dental Design are to tread very carefully with the use of pop-ups and take advice from experienced designers who study user behaviour online for a living. That, and the fact that a 2013 survey found that 70% of internet users rated irrelevant pop-ups as the most annoying type of advertising, putting them on par with lottery scams!
Having said that, there is a time and place for everything, and including a pop-up in your website design might be the one thing that increases conversion such as someone filling in your contact form, downloading that newsletter, or giving you a call. Read on for my thoughts and feelings towards pop-ups backed by some evidence from fellow website UX bloggers and industry consensus.
What is a popup?
I’ve used Wikipedia’s description, because they put it so well. A point to note is that if your pop-up is not actually being used to actually gain email addresses, then it’s not really doing what it is supposed to, and more likely to be putting people off.
There is some research suggesting that pop-ups do increase conversions. More importantly, the research shows that a page with a well designed and thoughtfully implemented pop-up converts better than one with a rubbish pop-up.
Relevant, thoughtful, and personalised pop-ups with clever, clean design can work well in gaining much needed emails or sign ups.
They are so annoying!
People don’t forget easily, and back in the 90’s browsing the web was a minefield of pop-ups, spam emails, fake sites and dodgy links. Unfortunately the humble pop-up can still instil fear into even the savviest online user. We are fearful of viruses which might infect our home/work PC and lose all our documents and photos! This is centred deep within the psyche of the web browser.
And pop-ups aren’t merely annoying — if they’re not working properly, they can actually interfere with your site’s functionality. Some pop-ups that aren’t rendering properly can create a huge floating box over your posts and pages that people can’t exit out of — which means they’re going to get intensely frustrated because they’ll need to close their browser completely to get back to what they were doing.
In this age of multi device search and browsing, it really is hard to ensure your pop-up looks right across all of these platforms.
People want to stop them
If you search for ‘pop-up on the home page’, you get a whole list of sites which give advice of how to block pop-ups!
…a real indication of how searchers feel towards this design feature.
If you are going to use a pop-up, avoid these pitfalls:
For a dental practice?
The big question is, should you be using pop-ups for a dental practice? My thoughts are:
To talk to Dental Design in more detail about pop-ups, or any other website design feature, call 01202 677227.