Should pop-up windows be used in your website?

website browser window with a pop-up ad showing discounts and alert icons

Should pop-up windows be used in your website?

A few weeks ago, I delved into the topic of website sounds and whether or not they are pleasant for visitors. I suggested that automatically playing audio on websites annoys people and should only be used in specific industries.

Similarly, I often receive requests to add pop-ups or “pop-unders” to websites. These intrusive ads grab your attention and promote a specific product or service. However, they can also be quite bothersome to site visitors. Numerous usability studies have shown that these ads create negative feelings toward the browsing experience and can even lead to a lack of trust in the brand.

Like sounds, it might be a good idea to poll your target audience before implementing pop-up ads. I conducted a poll within my network, and here are the results:

  • 17% of respondents said they like pop-up forms and almost always click or fill them out.
  • 6% said they find pop-ups okay sometimes and will enter information or click on them.
  • 53% found pop-ups to be annoying and immediately closed them.
  • 12% considered pop-ups evil and would leave the site as soon as they encountered one.
  • 12% said they don’t care about pop-ups because they block them.

Here are some of the comments that accompanied the poll:

  • “Pop-ups seem deceptive.”
  • “I hate pop-ups. I leave the site immediately. No thanks!”
  • “I just hit that little ‘x’ to exit.”

It’s important to note that closing pop-ups by clicking the “X” can sometimes initiate a script containing a virus. Instead, go to your task manager and close the browser by ending the task.

As you can see, the majority of my network does not like pop-ups. While only 12 percent mentioned blocking pop-ups, there are likely more unaware that their browsers already have pop-up blockers enabled by default.

Regardless of your survey results, it’s worth considering how you feel about pop-up ads interrupting your search for information or a purchase. These insights can help you determine whether they fit your website well.

In conclusion, it’s essential to be mindful of the user experience when deciding whether or not to incorporate pop-up ads on your website.

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