Surely you know the feeling: While surfing the web you came across an interesting, relevant article or blog post. Full of anticipation, you dive into the reading, literally soaking up the letters. “Brilliant, this is exactly what I was looking for” you gurgle to yourself. But then something unexpected happens: a popup suddenly covers the article. You are asked to enter your e-mail address to ‘always be up to date’. “What’s this nonsense now, I’ve just started reading…” you think to yourself.
Table of Contents
What Is that Dog Doing?
You close the popup and start reading again – you couldn’t remember where you were when the popup appeared. So you continue reading, and automatically scroll down the page. Suddenly a pink Dalmatian runs into the picture from the right. “What?” you think before you realize that this is just an advertisement in the sidebar of the website. Then you wonder: “Oh crap, where was I now again in the text?”
You Want to Leave Already?
You give the article another chance and jump to a random text passage, while trying to ignore the Dalmatian in the sidebar. Pretty tough considering his head goes steadily up and down. But now you did it, you finished reading the post. But you probably didn’t learn a lot. How could you have? It’s hard for us to focus on the actual content, when we constantly get distracted and interrupted.
You move your cursor up to close the tab or window without feeling really satisfied. But the website takes one last stand: the screen goes black all of a sudden while white letters appear to ask a final question: “You want to leave already? You migh like this article […]”.
Think of the User!
Was this a positive experience for you? Or do these internet escapades make you feel rather confused?
We are convinced that you would rather have read the article without all those annoying distractions. If you design a website or outsource the project, please keep the user experience in mind; especially when it comes to popups and layovers. It often seems to be the case that all the conversion gurus are blinded by KPIs and tend to forget that an actual human being sits in front of the screen. Sure, those annoying popups might lead to a couple more newsletter opt-ins. But please bear in mind that these interventions greatly diminish the quality of the user experience.
The Supermarket Comparison
Imagine you are standing in a supermarket in front of the tea shelf. You are looking for a particular ginger orange tea, which your loved one has written on the shopping list. Suddenly a store employee is standing next to you and unexpectedly asks you for your telephone number. Somehow stupid, isn’t it? And yet that’s exactly what is common practice out there on the Internet.