When you click on a person's tag on the Twitter website (found in bold, aligned leftmost from the tweet message), a modal window is displayed. That window is draggable, but there's no (obvious) reason why it's draggable. Is there a purpose for this sort of flexibility?

draggable modal twitter window

  • 2
    So that you can move it around to see the content behind it, I would assume.
    – JonW
    Dec 18, 2013 at 15:38
  • Why? The incoming content is barely (if at all) live, and there are only 2 tweets displayed in the modal window, which means that I'm assuming the user won't be in the window too long (maybe a few seconds).
    – Mr_Spock
    Dec 18, 2013 at 15:46
  • 1
    Perhaps the ability to drag the modal came 'for free' with the code they use - and they could think of no reason to disable it?
    – Fractional
    Dec 18, 2013 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


Twitter is quickly becoming an add-on to other tools. If you ever use the Twitter API in your own apps you'll value this feature greatly. It lets you pull tweets into your own work and retain all the functionality of Twitter without a lot of engineering overhead. Being able to reposition this popup is important because it will be used in many contexts, and blocking main site content with this element is fine as long as it's easily repositionable.

  • 1
    Nice connection there. Can you give me a tiny example of one of the contexts you hinted on?
    – Mr_Spock
    Dec 18, 2013 at 16:58
  • Thanks! I can't share one from my own work because of confidentiality, but I can show you one from a sandwich shop. Go to jimmyjohns.com and scroll down to see tweets. Press "Reply". Boom. Repositionable Twitter window on top of Jimmyjohns window. Dec 18, 2013 at 17:06
  • I see what you're saying, but that's not a modal window as far as I understand modal windows (a child window; window within a window). What pops up in your example is a separate window altogether, which is not the same as the one I'm pointing out on Twitter. The parent content (main content) behind the Twitter modal window isn't accessible (one can't click it; a click in any area but in the modal window closes the modal window). Do you have any examples like that?
    – Mr_Spock
    Dec 18, 2013 at 17:11
  • Ah, thanks for clarifying. I'd call that pattern a lightbox or overlay because the parent window is darkened. It interrupts the user's flow. Here is a pattern page about it: patternry.com/p=overlay Dec 18, 2013 at 17:20
  • I'm sorry, but your answer doesn't seem to answer my question.
    – Mr_Spock
    Jan 6, 2014 at 17:02

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