When to use modals in UI
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When to use modals in UI

Hi there! 👋

It's Victor.

Traditionally, before we start I want you to check my latest tweet: The history of WEBYou'll learn what was the first photo posted on the Internet, what was the first search engine and much more!

So, today we're going to talk a bit about modals.

Modal windows may seem like an easy solution for many tasks, but in reality they have a lot of caveats.

I've even read an opinion from one of the leading designers in Russia who said: "Modals are the most stupid thing that can be done." 

Although I disagree with him, there are a lot of cases that we should take into account.

What's wrong with modals?


1. They require immediate user attention

2. They interrupt the user workflow

3. They cause users to forget what they were doing

4. They cause the users to create and address an extra goal — to dismiss the dialog

5. They block the content in the background

Assuming all the points, we can conclude that modals should not be used for non-critical events

When should we use and avoid using modals?


❌ If you have an error/alert/success message, usually you don't need a modal. 

All these types of messages can be placed inline. Sometimes you don't even need them.

For example, when the user has created some record and got redirected to the record page, it's redundant to say "You have successfully created something!"  

❌ Avoid putting long & complex forms in modals.  

This leads to a couple of problems.

1. You will probably have a scrollbar
2. User might accidentally close the modal while filing in the form

I'd use a separate page for this purpose.

 ✅ If the user wants to take an irreversible action, e.g. to delete something that cannot be undone, it's better to interrupt him and show the confirmation modal.

 ✅ If you need some information from the user that is required to continue then it's okay to use modals. A popular example is the login/sign up forms.
There are much more to say about modals.

I found an awesome article regarding this topic: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/modal-nonmodal-dialog/

These guys are best in the UX area, trust me :)
That's it for today!

👉You can always reply to this email with feedback & you could also check my Twitter, where I share my thoughts about user interfaces. 

Cheers,
Victor

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