I'm currently designing a Maintainance countdown message. I think to create it as a pop-out modal window when the user logs-in and afterward place the countdown with a short header on a "sticky" position on the bottom of the screen / or under navigation. Does someone have any experience designing it? Do you believe that the pop-out modal window is appropriate in this case? enter image description here

3 Answers 3


The level of salience the message needs to have depends on a few things:

  • Have you scheduled the maintenance window during peak hours? Then a modal or interstitial page may be appropriate. If your maintenance happens from, say, 02:00 am to 04:00 am, then use a different pattern.
  • Other than the website, which channels have your users seen this message on? Let's say you sent out a prior email, SMS and/or push notification. Since you've already informed your users there, a less obstrusive alert on the website may be more appropriate.

Some pointers to improve the message:

  1. Unless the seconds are crucial information (they imply some users may want to work until the very last few seconds), they're best left out to provide a cleaner design that is better scannable.
  2. I'd explictly write the caption in the future tense, also to aid in scannability ("we'll be" instead of "we're").
  3. If you can, be more specific about the expected maintenance window. Your users will want to know when they can get back to work, and 'a couple of hours' is vague. To avoid overpromising, add some time to your scheduled end time.
  4. Show the countdown in a header/footer bar as well. If the modal is only shown once, other users who share the same browser or session may not be aware.
  5. Add the scheduled start time to the message. This avoids having your users calculate time.

Hope this helps.


It can depend on where your cookie policy information is displayed. Information underneath the navigation may be missed by the user if you use a mega menu. We tend to add important information to the top of the website using a high contrast between the text and background to help this to be the first thing the user will see and read.

With a maintenance warning you could prevent the user from accessing the website with a modal popup. If the website is going to error whilst the maintenance is being carried out you may want to look into setting up a holding page.


I would go for a more explicit design that includes user action as a sign of acknowledgment then it's OK to reduce the space for it. For example, on login a user sees this modal in the center of the screen, reads it, and then clicks the "minimize" icon that folds that modal into a much smaller modal that only shows the ticking clock and it goes into the side space allowing normal work until the time comes. When 10 min left (for example) - there may be some extra events with this modal.

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