Websites often use modal windows as call-to-action tools and for pointing out important information.
For example, the call-to-action in a modal window might ask the site visitor to subscribe to the site’s newsletter. A study by user experience research firm Nielsen Norman Group revealed that 90% of the study’s participants chose to receive updates from companies via an email newsletter, versus only 10% via Facebook. This might indicate that an email newsletter can be an effective way of developing customer relationships.
Let’s look at a few examples of well-designed modal windows. The following examples are mostly within the fashion industry because that’s the industry I’m currently working in.
Anatomy of a Well-Designed Modal Window
It goes without saying that modal windows should be in tune with your site’s visual style. You don’t want modal windows to appear third-party-esque.
We follow this rule over at Mylo, a menswear mobile app that I have founded. The modal window that asks our website visitors for their email address is consistent with our brand’s visual attributes. In our case, a lot of white space, clear typography, and the copy all match up with the design guidelines of our brand.
The modal window found at Jean Stories (a fashion site dedicated to denim) also stays consistent with the site’s overall visual style. Notice their consistent application of their brand’s color scheme and the incorporation of their logo within the modal window.
Modal windows should preferably have a single objective. The objective might be to let the visitor know of a site-wide discount or get him/her to sign up for the site’s newsletter.
A well-designed modal window should only request essential information. Overloading potential customers with form fields to fill out and boxes to check off is not wise because doing so might lead to inaction.
Ecommerce websites may want to consider offering an incentive in order to compel visitors to perform the desired action, such as a discount on goods in exchange for signing up to the site’s newsletter. Below are a few examples of modal windows that offer percentage-based discount incentives:
Content is King
Your modal window’s copy should embody your brand’s attitude, tone, and style.
You can also state a value proposition in the modal window. For example, DuJour magazine’s modal window states their newsletter’s value proposition to potential subscribers: "The luxe content you can’t find anywhere else."
More Modal Window Examples
Below are a few more modal windows that follow the general guidelines mentioned above.
Modal windows can be used to ask your site visitors to perform an action (such as subscribing to your email newsletter) or for sharing an important message.
A good modal window will have:
- a design that is consistent with your brand’s visual style
- a clear objective
- good content that reflects the attitude, tone, and style of your brand
Thanks to Faiz Tariq and Carolyn Buszynski, the co-authors of this article.