Pop-up Layer vs. Inline Usability

9 Nov 2007 - 11:28am
3 years ago
3 replies
1650 reads
Chris Pallé
2007

Has anyone seen any research on using layers vs. inline for sensitive
information like accounts, shopping carts, log-in, password retrieval,
etc? I once heard that a "pop-up DIV" is too similar to a pop-up
window and can throw of our audience when dealing personal/sensitive
information. This seems logical, but wondering if anyone has seen some
concrete research on the topic.

Thanks!
CP

chris.pallé, {human} experience design
--------------------------------------------------------
blue flame interactive
732.513.3570
chris.palle at blueflameinteractive.com
http://blueflameinteractive.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/chrispalle

Comments

9 Nov 2007 - 1:15pm
Cindy Alvarez
2004

I haven't done any quantitative research, but have taken part in a
handful of usability tests recently which used both "popout divs" (a
content area that is anchored to something on-screen that becomes
visible) and "popover divs" (a new content window floats over the the
rest of the browser window which is grayed out). These were used for
sensitive information where the user could not complete their task
without providing it.

Neither metaphor raised pop-up window type concerns with any test
subjects. The "popover div" tested more successfully in process
funnels because it forced the users to focus on and complete that
section before allowing them to interact with the rest of the page.
In all cases the new divs were visually well integrated with the rest
of the site. I would guess that a div that was styled differently
would raise the pop-up window concern.

Anecdotally, the one concern I have with the popout/popover div is in
implementation - they need to be "appear" very quickly or else they
feel disconnected from the user's interaction. That also may raise
pop-up window/phishing concerns, but luckily that one is solved by
good programming implementation.

Cindy

--
http://www.cindyalvarez.com

On Nov 9, 2007 8:28 AM, Chris Pallé
<chris.palle at blueflameinteractive.com> wrote:
> Has anyone seen any research on using layers vs. inline for sensitive
> information like accounts, shopping carts, log-in, password retrieval,
> etc? I once heard that a "pop-up DIV" is too similar to a pop-up
> window and can throw of our audience when dealing personal/sensitive
> information. This seems logical, but wondering if anyone has seen some
> concrete research on the topic.
>
> Thanks!
> CP
>
>
> chris.pallé, {human} experience design
> --------------------------------------------------------
> blue flame interactive
> 732.513.3570
> chris.palle at blueflameinteractive.com
> http://blueflameinteractive.com
> http://www.linkedin.com/in/chrispalle
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
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9 Nov 2007 - 2:27pm
Chris Pallé
2007

On Nov 9, 2007, at 1:15 PM, Cindy Alvarez wrote:

> I haven't done any quantitative research, but have taken part in a
> handful of usability tests recently which used both "popout divs" (a
> content area that is anchored to something on-screen that becomes
> visible) and "popover divs" (a new content window floats over the the
> rest of the browser window which is grayed out). These were used for
> sensitive information where the user could not complete their task
> without providing it.

Thanks for the excellent clarification on types, Cindy. Hadn't thought
about the pop

Those typically have the feel that they are still connected to the
experience (something like a complex rollover), but to your point,
they need to be responsive.

>
>
> Neither metaphor raised pop-up window type concerns with any test
> subjects. The "popover div" tested more successfully in process
> funnels because it forced the users to focus on and complete that
> section before allowing them to interact with the rest of the page.
> In all cases the new divs were visually well integrated with the rest
> of the site. I would guess that a div that was styled differently
> would raise the pop-up window concern.
>

There is clearly a benefit to focusing the attention on a required area.

> Anecdotally, the one concern I have with the popout/popover div is in
> implementation - they need to be "appear" very quickly or else they
> feel disconnected from the user's interaction. That also may raise
> pop-up window/phishing concerns, but luckily that one is solved by
> good programming implementation.

It's the phishing/pop-up window similarity with a popover div that has
me concerned. This is why I'm thinking inline progressive disclosure
would help.

What do you consider "good programming implementation" that could help
mitigate this potential problem popover?

>
>
> Cindy
>
> --
> http://www.cindyalvarez.com
>
>
> On Nov 9, 2007 8:28 AM, Chris Pallé
> <chris.palle at blueflameinteractive.com> wrote:
>> Has anyone seen any research on using layers vs. inline for sensitive
>> information like accounts, shopping carts, log-in, password
>> retrieval,
>> etc? I once heard that a "pop-up DIV" is too similar to a pop-up
>> window and can throw of our audience when dealing personal/sensitive
>> information. This seems logical, but wondering if anyone has seen
>> some
>> concrete research on the topic.
>>
>> Thanks!
>> CP
>>
>>
>>
>> chris.pallé, {human} experience design
>> --------------------------------------------------------
>> blue flame interactive
>> 732.513.3570
>> chris.palle at blueflameinteractive.com
>> http://blueflameinteractive.com
>> http://www.linkedin.com/in/chrispalle
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

28 Jan 2011 - 4:17pm
Matt Lutze
2009

I was listening to a podcast published by Jared Spool ("SpoolCast") with Luke Wroblewski on Web Form Design and they spent some time on executing sign-up processes within "modal" (pop-up) windows. If I remember correctly, Wroblewski (who's an SME on this sort of thing) liked workflows-in-modals with caveats. If there's more than a single step, use a regular page and if there's a lot of fields to complete, use a regular page.

I'm not familiar with users being nervous of div-layer "pop-ups" being too spam-like (unless you design the layer to look like spam, of course :-P ). The better argument against complex or sensitive workflows in modals is more practical, I think. One, if it's going to take the user a while, why not take them away from the page they're on and make their experience only about completing that task? They'll go quicker, and if you make sure you send them back to the page they were at on completion, no inconvenience. 

Second, if the user clicks off of the modal and closes it then needs to start the process over, you're going to end up with some frustrated users. 

Regarding the user interactions Cindy witnessed, I'd be curious to know if a normal in-line variant was tested along side the pop-up versions as a control, or if only the pop-up versions were tested. As designers can at times favor the newer and cooler version of something when the user interaction with the "tried and true" method ends up being much more copacetic. 

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