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Is it a good ux to make footer links as lightboxes?

Basically we have small content for each link in the footer, so we decided to wrap those in lightbox instead of making a page for it. I'm sure this approach is out of cultural convention when implementing footer links but does this create a good user experience?

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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    What happens if someone wants to link these pages (say, About) to another client? What if you want to? There's a bit of complications, it depends on the use of the content but I would definitely shy away from lightboxes as part of your real information that users might have to know. – insidesin Aug 5 '15 at 8:31
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More info needed

I think most of UX questions should be replied with "Depends.".

In this case, why would you rely on a lightbox for opening a page? Only so you can avoid creating another HTML file or page in the CMS? I can't see the benefits for the users; but I do see some potential issues.

Given the lack of further info, in a common scenario, I would recommend you to stick to conventionalities: use links + pages, not light boxes. More info in the next section.

Common scenario

Light boxes come in handy in situations where:

  • Displays are big enough (definitively not mobile).
  • Content revealed is short or adaptable to a minimum view size (see point 1). E.g.: videos, pictures and maybe short text.

Usability issues

Have in mind that light boxes force a two-click navigation:

  1. Action the link.
  2. Close the lightbox.

And, since a hyperlink is a well established convention, most users will expect navigating to the page, not opening a lightbox.

Technical issues

There are also technical concerns with the use of light boxes: why loading a JS framework + a lightbox script? You can improve responsiveness and loading speed avoiding them.

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Instead of creating lighboxes that could be inconvenient as it covers something behind it, you can create a hover over effect so when people hover over a specific link a little bubble shows up that provides the content of whatever it is you desire. Of course that will only work if you have no other call to actions within that "bubble"

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