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I'm in a team that builds website templates for a wide variety of informative sites. We've had a lot of users asking for popups on the homepage and we've been saying no because it's a bad design practice in our context (intrusive, bad on mobile, looks spammy). I understand that popups can be useful in some situations, but we can't allow users to customise their sites too much, so it's a little difficult to get users to use popups in the "right" way. Our target users are not designers or tech-savvy in general as well.

But instead of telling users that it's not good practice, I'm trying to understand the need behind this which is that - "I want to display upcoming events in an attention-grabbing way".

Our prescribed alternative to a popup is a dismissible banner that floats just below the navigation bar. It can only contain text and hyperlinks at the moment. Users are not satisfied by this because it's not as obvious and is limited in space.

I'm thinking of other patterns we can use to call out upcoming events:

  • Change banner placement to above navbar
  • Larger banner that can contain more content (maybe a heading on the left and paragraph text with link on the right)
  • An alternative homepage layout where an "announcements" or "news" section is above the fold for desktops

Would love to gather some more inspiration!

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That's great that you added the requirement, "I want to display upcoming events in an attention-grabbing way". Unfortunately, that "attention-grabbing" way creates banner blindness.

I found some unique ways in the industry as follows:

To promote an event, products have been boosting their community-based features. Examples in the image below:

Community-based event

Being concerned about your target users, my point is people tend to avoid events as a single person. But when they find a like-minded community, they enforce members to create events. So, community-led growth. If you have the scope of having a community feature, you may get this done. The roadmap can be:

  • Roll out a community feature
  • Onboard members
  • Launch events

Looking forward to your feedback. Let me now if it aligns with your teams' vision. Thanks.

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