Should You Use Modal Windows in Your Web Design?

Recently, we’ve covered some of the top trends our Maryland web design company has seen so far in 2016, but we wanted to take the time to cover one of those trends in a little more detail. Modal windows are one of those web design features that few people have heard of, but nearly everyone recognizes.

They come in many forms, but over the past year, they’ve become nearly ubiquitous across a wide spectrum of websites, from the biggest content publishers to personal blogs. So what are modal windows, sometimes called modal boxes or modeless boxes, anyway?

Similar to a drop down menu, a modal window is a graphic element that is overlaid on a web page. Unlike a pop-up, a modal window does not open a new window or tab, but merely covers part of the web page with a small window, most usually shaped like a box. Because these windows can give the appearance of two layers stacked on top of one another, they fit perfectly with websites that have adopted material design, a semi-three-dimensional style of contemporary web design.

Modal windows often contain some kind of call to action or click-to-call feature. For content publishers, modal windows often appear when someone clicks away from the page. They prompt the visitor to enter their email address for a newsletter. On business websites, our Maryland web design company might design a modal window urging the visitor to call a phone number to speak to a live person.

Once you start looking for them, you will find modal windows all over the Internet in 2016. They’re everywhere these days, now that our negative associations with pop-up ads are beginning to fade away (thank goodness).

If you’re a business owner looking to customize your website, then modal windows are one trend you can’t ignore. They aren’t right for every site, but they’re one of the more useful web design services available today. According to a Harris Interactive survey, 70% of consumers “rarely or never” use phone books, while 60% of people rely on the Internet to find a company’s contact information.

By making call-to-action prompts more dynamic, modal windows are fast becoming a popular way to capture inbound leads in local online marketing.