To put this question in context, this is for a (mouse-driven) ui-heavy game. During this game many popup windows will appear. They are mostly non-interactive, just displaying updates on various processes, and can be closed by users.
Some of these popups will "expire" quickly, and I want them to automatically close when this happens, after a delay of say 3-5 seconds, unless a user interrupts them (in which case the user can is free to read them until they decide to manually close the popup)
What would be the most intuitive way of communicating to a user that a dialog is about to close, and offer them a way to abort this process, while being understandable in just a few seconds?
I'm thinking maybe an animated progress bar (labeled "closing...") with a cancel button (or maybe it should say "pause"?) next to it. But this might be a bit big and clunky?
I had initially thought to show a circular loading indicator around the popups close widget, and when it completes full circle the popup would close. But realised this doesn't communicate to the user at all how to abort the countdown. In fact clicking the only thing animating (the close button) actually results in speeding up the process. This is the opposite of the interaction I am trying to offer to the user.
Do we have any examples in the wild of interfaces which do this?
What do you think is the most intuitive way of accomplishing this?