Modern mobile users have been conditioned to very quickly find the X, close or cancel buttons to dismiss all kinds of modal dialogs and ads in mobile apps. The typical scenario is - a user returns to the app to accomplish an activity, and an app prompts the user to rate the app in the app store:

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Rating the app is an optional action, it is a "nice to have". While a user might be inclined to rate the app, however, at this very moment the user is attempting to do something, and full screen alert will just be dismissed. The alert does not accomplish it's goal, and everyone is frustrated.

What are the alternatives to the modal alert view to prompt user for optional actions on mobile?

I'm aware of the "notifications" pattern, where a non-critical piece of the screen is covered for a few seconds by a self-dismissing banner (potentially with a button):

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Another pattern could be the "hero space" from web design, where a large portion of the screen is dedicated to messages: enter image description here

1 Answer 1


Have you read or seen this article before? https://medium.com/circa/the-right-way-to-ask-users-to-review-your-app-9a32fd604fca

Describes the issue you mention and seems like from the numbers it was a great solution.

I guess the bottom line is to make it natural in whatever your interface is - the banner ad suggested doesn't really do this in a great way, and I think the hero ad suggestion is more of a website CTA than the reviewing action.

I guess the biggest difference here is wanting a review on the App Store is desirable for the person running the app but potentially frustrating for a user who is 'bothered' by the question. The action you've highlighted with Macaw seems more directly beneficial to the user and a main CTA than anything else. Hope that makes sense! :)

  • From that article it does sound like embedding an "optional" element into a table view or other collection of elements is the correct non-obtrusive way to ask for an optional action (at least for now)
    – Alex Stone
    Jan 26, 2015 at 19:46

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