Battling the Buzzwords: Modals

“I hate ad modals.”

“On this page, make sure the Agreement to Terms of Service modal prevents accessing the underlying content.”

Designers and developers sometimes slip into technical-speak, leaving the client lost. One common shared vocabulary item is “modal”. A “modal” is also referred to as a “pop-up” and it’s a [usually smaller] window that covers the main screen.

Most users have seen these in ads: e.g., “you must watch this ad for at least 20 seconds before you can exit the window and proceed to the actual site”.

There are other uses, though. For example, if a website needs to ensure readers agree to Terms of Service, a modal can prevent access to a site until the Terms of Service are agreed to.

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