User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am building a feed aggregator for and one problem that cam into my mind is whether to use an inline popup that show the external article page. In the first picture below is how my aggregator looked like (different colours on title, author, content).

However, the second option is the traditional way that the article page opens in a new tab. I thought by having the popup, I will decrease the chances to forgot my page and continue reading articles on the page just opened in a new tab.

For the inline popup will be used something like Fancybox (picture 2).

What is your opinion about user-interaction/behaviour?

Update : There will be a mobile version of the site without the inline popup.

This is kinda the structure of my aggregator.

enter image description here

Here is a new page loaded in the same window using Fancybox.

enter image description here

share|improve this question
How will the popup work on mobile? It looks like it severely cuts the window size, a lot of pages may not display right on desktop, let alone small pages. I'd advise against the popup. New tabs aren't always the best solution, as they break the back button but they're preferable to the popup solution IMO – Ben Brocka Oct 6 '11 at 15:33
@BenBrocka that's true but I will have a mobile view also. – Xalloumokkelos Oct 6 '11 at 16:21
I assume the mobile view will always open in a new tab then, right? Seems like all the more reason to keep things consistent within the app and standard website conventions – Ben Brocka Oct 6 '11 at 19:16
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would prefer to have the external page open in a new tab. It seems more unusable to load another web page in a modal. If a person enjoys using your feed aggregation page, they will return to it once they are done with the selected article.

share|improve this answer

It should spawn a new tab. If the user wants to follow a link in the content, they will have issues getting back to the original article in a modal window (no back button). I did a quick search to find if it's possible to spawn a new tab from a modal iframe, but I couldn't find anything that confirms it.

Ideally, if the user can visit linked content and then return back to the original content, whether via the Modal window or a new tab, I think the modal is the best solution.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.