Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

Pop Ups

We all know that pop ups are annoying. 'Do you want our newsletter to get 5% off?' Right in your face and stopping you from doing what you have come here to do, and it is not normally to sign up for the newsletter.

Let me give you an example. I use a password manager to hold all my passwords and user details. It is very helpful and pretty easy to use.

However everytime I open it on my Mac so I can access a password it asks me if I want to update to the newest software. Well of course I do, but I have come here for a password and I am kinda in the middle of something.

They do provide me with a 'remind me later' button but they do not state when later is, and so I end up getting the same pop up the next time I go there to get a password and can not really afford to spend five minutes waiting for it to update.

They did something similar to me again this week. As always I was in a rush and just wanted to get my password. This time they asked if I would like to store my Covid vaccine details in the app. Well yes I would, that sounds really useful. But I'm in the middle of something here, give me a sec to log into this other thing and I’ll be right back.

But thats not how it works. I could only click 'cancel' or 'remind me later' and when I went back in the app to find it later it was gone.

How many times must this happen to people? The pop up interrupts us, but is actually a useful thing just at the wrong time?

Designers say we need to make our pop ups more intelligent, but any time you throw something into someone’s face, you are likely to be interrupting them.

Rather than a ‘remind me later’ button can we not have a ‘stick this to the corner of the screen while I finish what I’m doing so I can come back to it in a sec’ button? Or a ‘send me the details to look at in my own time’ button?

I wonder how much that would improve conversion, if instead of being in people’s faces and putting pressure on them to decide right now, we chilled out a bit and let them do it in their own time?

⟨⟨ Previous | Blog home | Next ⟩⟩

Contact Me

If you have any questions about my work please feel free to contact me.

Email me on or find me on Twitter or Linkedin.

Sign up to The UX Life Chose Me Newsletter and get the most interesting UX Research articles, videos and podcasts from across the web straight into your mailbox once a month.