We spent fucking years talking everybody out of popup windows and now 90% of sites are doing this. Great job, thought leaders. Bright futures all round.
REBLOGGED FOR TRUTH (also to note that a bunch of these popup windows totally botch the mobile-browsing experience). Reading too many sites on the web lately has become the equivalent of driving down a particularly bright-sign-stuffed stretch of highway—only here the desired effect is not reading but clicking on to other pages, then not reading those things but clicking on other pages, and so on, and so on and so on…
As someone who pays the bills doing UX/IxD/whateverthefuck, YES. I just finished a UI prototype with a modal window in jQuery. But I was an enormous dickhead about making sure it was only triggered by the user, and not something that just magically happened. You have no idea how many times I have been asked to do things that are terrible for the user experience/overall design/etc, and how much time I have to spend pushing back on those requests.
IMHO, the worst offenders of pop-ups are user feedback surveys. Really, you want to know how people feel about your site, so you stick them with the most annoying thing ever? Well, good luck on that. I wish I had some better information on what the success rate of these pop-up surveys are, but I suspect very few people take them. Or maybe they do, what the hell do I know. They are the roaches of web design — no one can kill them.
Also known as nagboxes. Because, you know, nagging your users is the definition of treating them with respect.