I'm a UX intern working for a startup and i'm building an analytics platform that offers analytics driven marketing.

The current flow essentially moves the user through analytics from high level to granular, and in the granular views offers a CTA to access the marketing content and the associated lead lists they can send those marketing materials to.

I'm struggling to find the best way to offer those downloads. My PM thinks we should implement a 2 column modal that shows a preview of the marketing materials in 1 column and then 2 buttons that lead to the campaign and lead list in the 2nd column.

To me, this seems like an overly complex use of a modal and so I've been trying to push for a breakout page that essentially does the same thing. I've also made the decision to kill the side-bar navigation on this page for error prevention and include 2 links back to the previous page (<- back button at top of page and "return to dashboard" link at bottom of the page below content. My PM was strongly against killing navigation on this page which i kind of understand as his reasoning is that users could get "trapped" on this page.

In my google research so far, I have not found any good examples of a use case like this and so i'm kind of just designing off of my limited knowledge, mentor feedback, and PM directives.

If anyone has sense of best practice here I would really appreciate resources or additional guidance.

Thank you!

Desktop view with analytics module

Current, proposed preview and download modal

  • Your mockups would be much appreciated, 'cause right now it's hard to see what you have right now. Which will limit how many people try answering your question Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 20:33
  • That's Fair, But i'm under NDA so I'm very hesitant to share any of my work from Figma. I appreciate you flagging this though.
    – Alex
    Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 20:53
  • Ah I see, well you can share the shape at least, branding is a bad idea. Just so that we get an idea of what you are talking about. Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 21:03
  • 2 columns with a 2 CTAs doesn't really give us much to imagine visually. Funnily, that fits with your narrative, it's very peculiar setup :D Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 21:04
  • 1
    Updated with anonymized wire frames. I should mention that talks with my mentor led me to believe that the leads lists were priority one as these change periodically where as the marketing materials are static. Users will have the ability to download JUST the leads lists from another area on the analytics page. However my PM is very focused on the ability to preview the marketing before downloading which I agree with. The alternative is generating the PDF in a separate page for previewing which I didn't love but I might be oversolving a non issue.
    – Alex
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 14:54

2 Answers 2


Mercado Libre (more or less, Latin America's Amazon) does exactly what your PM wants. I worked as a consultant for them way before they added this feature, but I know their UX team is pretty capable. So I guess they must have data to support that behavior.

They show it randomly, so I can't show you an example, but it's pretty much what you describe. They sell a monthly membership that gives users some perks as well as access to Disney. When they don't show the modal, they display a banner. In this case, I can see it, so I took a screenshot. This is only to show what they offer; in the modal, it's split into two columns: benefits on the left, price and CTA on the right.

enter image description here

As for this:

I've also made the decision to kill the side-bar navigation on this page for error prevention and include 2 links back to the previous page (<- back button at top of page and "return to dashboard" link at bottom of the page below content. My PM was strongly against killing navigation on this page which i kind of understand as his reasoning is that users could get "trapped" on this page.

It depends on the goal. Your PM is right, but as long as you add a way to go back, it's basically the same as a close button on the modal he wants. According to Ben Shneidermann's 8 Golden rules of UI

  1. Permit easy reversal of actions.

As much as possible, actions should be reversible. This feature relieves anxiety, since users know that errors can be undone, and encourages exploration of unfamiliar options. The units of reversibility may be a single action, a data-entry task, or a complete group of actions, such as entry of a name-address block.

  1. Keep users in control.

Experienced users strongly desire the sense that they are in charge of the interface and that the interface responds to their actions. They don’t want surprises or changes in familiar behavior, and they are annoyed by tedious data-entry sequences, difficulty in obtaining necessary information, and inability to produce their desired result.

Now, as you may imagine, it's very easy to cross the line between dark pattern and best practices. All in all, I think your approach of not showing navigation (yet allwoing to go back) is better than showing navigation. In general, if users click a navigation item, they will lose their changes. The downside is that having a full page may make users think they went out of the flow and it may confuse and frustrate them.

In short: whether it's 2 columns or one, I'll go with the modal just as your PM recommends.

  • Mans, OP has updated the question with new designs. I'm looking into it as well Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 23:41

So I've made the design below that hopefully makes your modal reflect your intentions a bit more clearly:

modal with campaign material

(Please forgive the strange alignment of the buttons in the design)

I changed a few things from your design. Since you mentioned that the leads are on a separate view, I changed the leads CTA button label to reflect that.

Also, given that this modal's main goal is to view and/or download the campaign materials, I changed the styling of the buttons to a Primary-Secondary button pairing. With the "Download Campaign CTA" now becoming your primary and the "Download Leads CTA" now your secondary. The cancel button is just there 'cause I couldn't bring myself to not adding it in :D

I think this will be enough, yes? Hope this helped.

  • 1
    Thank you for this. In short i'm playing with a few other possible solutions including a multi-select downloads drop down . This is then accompanied by a secondary CTA that populates a modal preview of the marketing campaign with option to download the campaign in modal. What I really want to do is some user testing on this but my PM seems resistant to general public testing since this is a B2B solution but I think there's value in getting general usability feedback even if the content isn't easily digestible. Thanks again!
    – Alex
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 14:38
  • @Alex I agree, usability testing is the best way to check, otherwise you'll be doing the UX testing in the live environment. If it helps, maybe try A/B, could help. In case you need a neat list of UX testing platforms, UsabilityHub, Usertesting.com, Braze, all these are amazing platforms to get your app tested on (so I hear, haven't used any, but really want to get onto it). Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 19:06

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