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I'd love your thoughts on this:

Context: Self Service Touch Screen Terminal (Content focused)

Instead of using UI-Elements (X-Button, "OK"-Button, "CLOSE"-Button) to close Popups, I m attempting to simply spare this information completely.

Example: "This Error occurred" (Negative Information that would not fit "OK" and that creates the need for an easy user task to close)

The Popups are closed by touching (depending on the type of Popup) the darkened area surrounding the Popup. In some cases touching the screen at any position will do as well (Info/Error-Popup).

To learn this, the user is forced to find out for himself (once). In return, from that point on, he will be able to close Popups by clicking pretty much where ever it's the most convenient and for that can get rid of (experience blocking) Popups the fastest way possible.

What do you think? Is this to bold/radical?

Thanks in advance!

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3 Answers 3

Id say that it would be a flawed pattern that can't withhold consistency. Sure, it would work for instances where there is only one action available ("OK" or "Close" etc.), but when the popup is a dialog requesting a decisive action from the user this pattern can't be used, since tapping outside the popup won't provide enough feedback of which option the user actually is selecting.

In addition to this consistency flaw there's also the obvious problem of dismissing popups unintentionally. The system triggers a popup and the user may adjust the grip in the device to view it more closely and unintentionally touches the screen -> the popup disappears.

The cognitive load of tapping a dedicated dismiss button is really minuscule, so my opinion would be that a design path such as this would pose more problems rather than enhance the experience.

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It's definitely not bold/radical since this has been done before.

Anyway, I'd argue that it's not really user friendly. You're asking the user to take a leap of faith (ok, just once but that's one too many).

Why not opt for this variation of your idea.

For a non-action dialog, place an x-mark in the upper right corner but actually make the entire lightbox background clickable/touchable. This way, users:

(1) know what to do the first time they use your app/website and
(2) don't get annoyed by trying to tap the close button.

Example:

enter image description here http://dimsemenov.com/plugins/magnific-popup/

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I've seen this behavior both on mobile, touch UIs as well as on web, mouse UIs. The mobile use cases were exactly as you describe, dimissing pop-ups by tapping the darkened area around it. The web use cases were mostly dismissing image overlays. (Sorry, I have no references at hand.)

Although I would wonder as a UX Designer whether I should eliminate the CLOSE button, I did not find any problem in the interactions. The finger/mouse hits the larger area much more easily than the little button.

So I'd say it's neither too bold nor too radical. You should be careful, however, what happens with pop-ups requiring two or more actions (as written by AndroidHustle already).

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