Friday, October 19, 2007

Balloons vs. Popups

A balloon is a little window which opens to give brief information or a helpful suggestion about something a computer user has questioned. We’ve all seen them. Even our computer’s operating system uses them to tell us little things.

There are several differences between an info balloon and a full-blown popup window. A popup window doesn’t briefly explain or provide instant help that is needed. A popup window is intrusive. A popop window tries to manipulate you and take over your life for a moment. In short, a popup window is like a car salesman.

Most of us appreciate getting a little extra discreet information when we need it. Balloons are a non-intrusive way of getting this done. We are used to balloons and mouseovers and “hovers” in the computer world. But we have never quite gotten used to popups. Perhaps you feel they are rude and intrusive. You would be right.

I hope you will make your website as clear and helpful as you can. I hope you will find polite ways to give your customers the information they need without acting like a car salesman. I hope you will never consider treating your customers like car salesmen treat their customers. In short, I hope you will never even consider making a big blinking popup window appear in front of your customers’ faces univited.


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