Just say no to the pop-up

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I don’t usually write a blog post to simply link to some other blog post (that’s what delicious and Twitter are for), but I think that this is such an important concept for UI design today, and in the future, that I feel the need to underscore it with a blog post:

yes, … "pop" is a bad thing.

Above is a (mangled) quote from the “How pop is the new flicker” blog post by the Microsoft Surface team, which highlights a very simple but important aspect for new UI, also illustrated in the following short movie from the same post .. which is: remove the pop-up window/dialog/menu.

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-US&amp;playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:ba9515fe-4e6c-4299-9cf4-a3a31b9a2503&amp;showPlaylist=true&amp;from=msnvideo" target="_new" title="Photos grid-stack transition">Video: Photos grid-stack transition</a>

The call to action:

Read the post, and then eliminate the pop-up from your code.

If you do this I believe you’ll dramatically improve the user experience and polish of your application. Obviously you have to put this advice in context with your application as it might not always be appropriate, but as a general rule, if you can replace a pop-up with a transition (made easier by tools such as WPF and Silverlight) you will be in a better place, and your users will thank you.

As usual if you have any comments, questions, flames, enhancements I would love to hear from you. In the meantime think deeply and enjoy.

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