Should You Use Modals On Your Site?

Modal windows could go either way. They can either be your best friend and generate leads that convert, or, they can annoy the user and you can lose a potential customer possibly forever. Ok, forever might be stretching it a bit, but you get the gist. Your modals should enhance your marketing efforts instead of becoming a hindrance in the user’s experience on the website.

Most people who take courses to become a web developer tend to overlook the fact that using modal windows is essential in some cases, which is why learning to use modal windows effectively can be very beneficial to your website.

What Are Modal Windows?

Modal windows are secondary windows which open up within the main window. They serve a specific task where the user may have to fill out some fields or interact with it in some way to continue with the main page.

Modal windows are particularly handy when a user needs to complete a task before the main task is finished. They are significantly a lot less annoying for the user as compared to pop-up windows. New windows increase the effort of switching between windows for the user and sometimes it isn’t made clear for the user whether they should continue with the page they’re already on or switch to the new one and finish the task on that.

Here Are Some Important Dos And Don’ts For Modal Windows

Match It With The Activator

On the top of the list for modal window best practices is to make a clear connection between the window itself and the button used to activate it. It is a good idea to give it the same title, or at least include the title of the button that was used to open it.

This way the connection between the main window and the new modal window is not broken and the earlier discussed matter of the user getting confused does not occur.

The User Should Be Able To Close It

Modal windows should have a high contrast clearly visible close button so they can exit whenever they want. If the modal is good enough and delivers the message needed with effect, the user will complete the task at hand when the modal opens up.

For further convenience, the user should be allowed to close the window with the “Esc” key and also close it when the user clicks outside the modal onto the main page.

The user’s primary intent on visiting the page was something other than the modal, so give them control over their experience on your website.

Create A Clear Difference

A common practice with modal windows is that the main window’s background becomes dim and the modal is the one highlighted. Another way to create a contrast is by placing a shadow overlay underneath the modal window. Make the user aware of the fact that they are inside another window to ease the process.

Fit It Well

The size of the modal matters because you don’t want to cover up your whole main screen with it. It should be minimum in size so the user knows they are still completing the process they had begun initially.

Modals And Overlays

The modal vs overlay debate should not exist as they both go hand in hand. Most people think modals and overlays are the same thing and they are not wrong. An overlay is the name of the extra layer you use underneath the modal to make the background temporarily inactive and modal is the window that opens up in its place.

The overlay is necessary because in case you have given the option of exiting the modal by clicking outside the modal box, the user should not be redirected somewhere else by clicking on a button.

Should One Use Modals?

Absolutely! Modals are the key to turning leads into conversions. The key is not to overdo and fill your webpage with them, and design them effectively so the user can feel like they are part of the main page while addressing the important message they have to read in the newer smaller window. There are numerous courses to become a web developer available which help an individual become the expert at creating modal windows. Get creating!

About The Author
Account Manager (Northwestern United States) at QuickStart

Travis Hameed

Travis Hameed is an expert when it comes to navigating complex sales, and making prospects' lives easier and hassle-free. As a sales rep with over 6 years of experience, he has decided to be a part of QuickStart's blog and share his thoughts regarding the questions that he comes across frequently. When he is not helping customers with their IT skills training challenges, he loves to cook.