I find pop up windows highly annoying to say the least. And to be totally up front and honest, this post is more me on a soap box than discussing the pros and cons of pop up windows.
Pop Up Windows
So what do I exactly mean by pop up windows? I mean those windows that, well, pop up. You are on a website, about to read an article and bang, some big, annoying pop up window appears.
"Join our mailing list today" it asks of you. Some are easy enough to find the "x" and click to close. Others are not so easy.
Regardless they tend to pop up at the most inopportune time.
Google doesn't necessarily like them either. Why? Because it takes away from the user experience.
Especially when there is some forced amount of time you must wait or shall I say endure, before they can be closed. No little "x" to click, rather you are on the clock. Forced to wait for time to expire.
There are exceptions to pop ups, though far and few. The most glaring would be for an alcoholic beverage company for example. "Click to confirm your age" I would deem worth the annoyance factor.
I don't see any other way around that detail. But the exceptions are far and few.
Forget the buts. But, I need to gather emails or generate leads. I am sure those are the arguments many make for having a simple pop up when you are just about to close your browser or navigate away.
But what about the user. If they are interested they will get in touch. They will visit again. People are smart. We know how to get ahold of someone. But only when we are ready.
Only when we want to engage on a more transactional level. Before that, we want to come and go in peace. Making our only decision when to engage and when to not.
I Beg Of You
Please, reconsider the use of pop up windows. I personally now stay away from sites that I know I will be bombarded with pop ups. Even if I sort of like their content.
Living in Denver I visit a local news channel website. I have about 4 seconds to read some above the fold text on any story before my screen is covered with an ad for the local super market.
What do I do after four seconds? Navigate away and ask myself one simple question. "When am I going to learn?"