What are the advantages & disadvantages between having a user click a button and get an Overlay or PopUp with additional content or having a separate page listing the content?

So the user case is Additional Videos, a user clicks that button:

Case 1: a PopUp window with all the additional videos appears, a user clicks that video and gets taken to the Video landing page

Case 2: user gets taken to a dedicated page with additional videos, user clicks on video and gets taken to the video landing page.

Is one better than the other?

2 Answers 2


Apple's says (CHAPTER 5 -User Experience Guidelines): "As a general rule, transition individual views and objects, not the screen. In most cases, flipping the entire screen is not recommended. When you perform fewer full-screen transitions, your iPad app has greater visual stability, which helps people keep track of where they are in their task. You can use UI elements such as split view and popover to lessen the need for full-screen transitions."

In your case, I would decide based on 2 things:

1. Number of videos. How many videos should the user expect? About 7-8? Probably a layover would work... More than 10? I would create a different page.

2. How important is that feature? Is "additional videos" a main feature or an add-on? Do users need to look at additional videos to fullfil the main purpose of the app?

Hope this helps.-

  • Great answer. I agree that a layover is a good choice. Especially when its just additional videos. The user will want to return to what they were doing. An overlay will help them keep track of what they were doing.
    – jonshariat
    Jul 8, 2011 at 18:12

If we're talking about a web application, the difference is primarily load times to retrieve the data for the overlay vs. the data for an entire new page.

  • We are talking iPad or iPhone
    – Xtian
    Jul 8, 2011 at 15:33
  • it's not a device issue. It's a network issue. Are you talking about a local app or are you talking about a mobile web browser? If the latter, see above. If the former, I'm not sure there's a big difference. A modal is typically a page you wan to show without getting rid of the underlying page. Since the modal navigates away anyways, I'd say it's purely an aesthetic decision at this point.
    – DA01
    Jul 8, 2011 at 15:46
  • @Xtain I think he means a web app for the iPad or an downloaded app
    – jonshariat
    Jul 8, 2011 at 18:10

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