Imagine a familiar situation: you are quietly browsing a website, moving from page to page, and suddenly a pop-up window (lightbox) appears right in the center of your screen.
Pop-ups must not be annoying. They should be very helpful in notifying users of promotions they may be interested in or simply highlighting important information. The key to creating successful pop-ups on your site lies in timing, design, and information.
When developing a website, consider the benefits of lightboxes for your business. Creating the right pop-up will increase your company’s leads and sales.
What is a Lightbox?
In web design, a lightbox popup is a window overlay on top of a web page that blocks some content on the webpage. When a pop-up appears, the website background is often dimmed and turned off, which means that site visitors cannot interact with other content on the website. This is the way a lightbox attracts visitors’ attention. A lightbox can appear anywhere on the screen: in the center as a bar at the top at the bottom of the page or on the sides.
Lightboxes are often used to get the email addresses of potential customers. Lightboxes can invite visitors to subscribe to blogs, receive updates and newsletters, or get a discount on products.
Lightboxes can highlight important messages such as offers, promotions, or events you host. They can also share important and fresh content, for example, the offers to watch a new video, listen to music, or read an article.
How to Design a Lightbox
When creating pop-ups, the main goal is to create a lightbox that will do the job and will not be annoying.
Here are five rules for a good lightbox:
- Clear interface. A user should be able to make quick decisions and not deal with the functionality. Buttons, text, and fields of a lightbox should be large and noticeable.
- Adaptability. You should remember that most of the traffic comes from users of mobile phones. A pop-up window should perfectly fit a smartphone screen and be easily viewed. It should not be difficult to close a pop-up window.
- Appropriateness of the demonstration. It is necessary to consider the logic of showing the window and its relevance to a user’s current actions. It is better not to show the subscription form to those who have already provided their data.
- Pop-ups don’t have to be intrusive. A pop-up should not reopen in case a user has already closed it. Also, do not offer the same thing several times in a row. You can add such clickable elements as “I’m already subscribed” or “Do not show again” to your pop-ups
- A clear call to action. A user needs to understand what you expect from them. For example, “Subscribe to the newsletter” “Go to the product catalog” or “Read the blog”.
The final result of the lightbox will depend on the platform on which it is designed and additional tools.
By implementing lightboxes, you can get more newsletter signups, and sales increase and you can also encourage people to stay on your site. Below you can find a few examples designed to achieve these different goals.
- Lightbox newsletter subscriptions. Newsletter or email subscriptions are the most common pop-ups.
- Authorization/registration lightbox. An increase in the number of registrations and logins is a key indicator for any digital business.
- Lightbox with the content suggestion. Blogging can help attract visitors to your site, offering them additional free content can help turn them into leads. You can design a lightbox pop-up requesting visitors to provide their email addresses in exchange for content updates.
- Discount lightboxes. One of the most common pop-ups for e-commerce sites is the discounted lightbox. These pop-ups offer online shoppers a discount or purchase coupon in exchange for their email address.
Undoubtedly, most people have already seen lightboxes in action. These light boxes are too intrusive when requiring customers to express their opinions about the site’s design, content, or overall functionality. In other cases, they are used to enlarge a photo on a blog or online store without opening a new page or initiating a page refresh. The photo is simply loaded in full size in a pop-up window. Some sites use a lightbox to add products to the shopping cart without going to the site or page for that product.
Lightboxes are designed to eliminate page refresh by providing a very small amount of information in a box that appears at the top of the site’s existing content, acting like a link, but no site navigation occurs.