A Modal

No Button Is an Island

Any real design combines many smaller ingredients (buttons, text, colors, content) into bigger clusters that serve a purpose. The kids call it a layout.

For example, our little button might be part of a modal/prompt. (You might call it a pop-up or a lightbox, but I call it a modal window, and I am the author, so I win.) When someone says “pop-up,” you might think of annoying ads or subscribe-to-my-newsletter requests, but a modal can also be something that forces you to pay attention, like when we need to confirm that the user really wants to delete their meticulously curated collection of sneezing panda videos.

In that case our button isn’t just a clickable rectangle. It’s a decision!

The modal design should be based on the research we have done to understand the business model and work with (or against!) probability to create or protect value. The same ideas of constructive and destructive actions still apply here.

Constructive and Special Modals Need Higher  Probability

Usually, a constructive action is going to add value, and usually we don’t need to warn the user before they do something valuable. But from time to time, a constructive ...

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