Effectiveness of a full page takeover overlay to promote an internal product?

4 Jun 2010 - 5:08pm
3 years ago
9 replies
1720 reads
foochudoo
2010

A client of mine is requesting a full page overlay takeover, essentially dimming out the entire site and displaying a promotional ad right in the center of the user's viewpoint. The idea is that the user will see this takeover on their 2nd pageview, and will be forced to hit the close button if they're not interested.

I personally think it's bad UX design, a complete slap in the face to the user and should be executed differently. I believe this approach will actually decrease regular page views, because some people will just be annoyed and leave the site entirely.

I'm trying to find some studies online that either back my claim, or confirm that this is a good approach. Can anyone help provide some data or first-hand experiences either way?

Comments

5 Jun 2010 - 4:21am
Alan James Salmoni
2008

I've no solid evidence about this to hand (can you really do no testing? even something quick & dirty?), but it seems that users are gradually getting used to this kind of interaction. A couple of years ago it would have been negatively received but it's not so bad now - as long as it's clear how to close the window! 

The wording of the content is vital here. You will need to demonstrate that you are trying to offer users something of value rather than 'pushing' something on them. Remember, this is the start of a conversation and being too pushy will cause users to push back. OTOH, if you communicate the idea that "Hey! We're not sure but you might really like this but no worries if you don't and sorry for interrupting we won't do it again" kind of thing, it will be received better (though not universally acceptable).

If you have good evidence from testing, you can extrapolate out and compare benefits versus costs and see if interrupting users is the way forward for you.

 

5 Jun 2010 - 8:12am
Alan James Salmoni
2008

Plus, I forgot to add, if you can come up with compelling alternative ways to display the required information, you might not need to go down this route. It's a lot of work, but try coming up with a few prototypes to illustrate your case and then find out of there is any relevant research to favour one or other.

6 Jun 2010 - 2:08pm
foochudoo
2010

Thanks, Alan! Realy great feedback. You do have a point that users are getting more and more acustomed to this sort of behavior. We're going to give it a shot over the next week or so and see how it works out. I'll post the result here.

Thank you!

8 Jun 2010 - 11:06pm
elvenmuse
2010

"ad-supported" websites are low class (from a Design and UX POV)

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7 Jun 2010 - 3:32pm
r32soul
2009

I think anytime on a website you are pushing ads to the users, you have to be careful thinking about the size of the ad, how to close the ad, the length of the ad (does it automatically close by itself), is the ad an link existing on the site so users can view it at anytime.  

Once you have consider all these, then choosing a particular way to display the ad becomes relative to the target audience that you are trying to sell the ad to.  I would say, overlay of an entire screen is generally not a great idea for an 'ad'.  Overlay and pop-ups should always be a user-generated action, you shouldn't try to force-feed this type of interaction to the user.  

If the client wants the users' focus to be the ad, you should try to think of ways of promoting the ad in different design and along with a design with overlay (of different sizes) and run a quick a/b testing with users.  

Always try to limit the users interaction (especially closing a screen, pop-ups) as much as possible.  Unless you know that your users already have this mental model that they will see this ad no matter what, and that they are okay with this type of interaction.

8 Jun 2010 - 11:06pm
elvenmuse
2010

I prefer an advertising-free world. About 1% of advertising is well designed (currently).

> I think anytime on a website you are pushing ads to the users, you have to > be > careful thinking about the size of the ad, how to close the ad, the length > of > the ad (does it automatically close by itself), is the ad an link existing > on > the site so users can view it at anytime.   > > Once you have consider all these, then choosing a particular way to > display > the ad becomes relative to the target audience that you are trying to sell > the ad to.  I would say, overlay of an entire screen is generally not a > great idea for an 'ad'.  Overlay and pop-ups should always be a > user-generated action, you shouldn't try to force-feed this type of > interaction to the user.   > > If the client wants the users' focus to be the ad, you should try to think > of > ways of promoting the ad in different design and along with a design with > overlay (of different sizes) and run a quick a/b testing with users.   > > Always try to limit the users interaction (especially closing a screen, > pop-ups) as much as possible.  Unless you know that your users already > have > this mental model that they will see this ad no matter what, and that they > are okay with this type of interaction. > > (((Please le

9 Jun 2010 - 10:17am
ktangney
2010

I agree that the action of the modal should be user initiated or expected. It can be argued, but I think the metaphor for the modal action is leading more towards a form container. Where a user's attention needs to be grabbed and isolated until the form or an action is completed.

Either way, that is an annoying advertisement.

25 Jun 2010 - 5:47am
jakedimare
2010

Hi Jeremy,

I wrote an article on how this is done, from a programming perspective, and I'd be interested to get your feedback:

http://betaprogrammer.com/content/?p=89

 

25 Jun 2010 - 9:06am
mdostert
2010

I have to laugh. Whose side are you on? :) These screen takeovers are totally aggressive and rude and highjack the user from accomplishing what they want to accomplish. I don't want to even have to close them. I think they should not be allowed. I know, money, but they detract from the user experience and I thought that that is what IxDA is about, the user experience?

:)

----- Original Message ---- From: jakedimare To: mdostert2002@yahoo.com Sent: Fri, June 25, 2010 9:49:57 AM Subject: Re: [IxDA] Effectiveness of a full page takeover overlay to promote an internal product?

Hi Jeremy,

I wrote an article on how this is done, from a programming perspective, and I'd be interested to get your feedback:

http://betaprogrammer.com/content/?p=89

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