I have many, many peeves about site design, but the one currently driving me crazy (crazier) is this weird new trend for popups.
I get that these shiny-shiny ones, so far removed from the scourge of Angelfire, supposedly increase visitor time on websites (and I certainly know fuckall about that, Google Analytics bluntly informs me) but really. Nothing sends me running far, far from websites than the new trend for incredibly intrusive popups, and I don't think it's just me either. (Although it might be. There's a lot of things I thought other people do but nope. Just me.)
Case in point, I was reading one site yesterday. Now, I joined the mailing list in a moment of positivity madness (what's the point of me thinking positively? jfc self.) so I am already pretty much a captive audience. But the moment I opened the page, this oversized image swept down like the Nazgul and took over the page — the entire page, which is quite a bit of real estate on a 23" monitor in a smallish room — to inform me ... uh, something. Probably inviting me to join the mailing list I'm already on, since it had a small box in the middle of this giant image — but I can't remember what it was because I immediately got rid of it again. I'd gone to read the fucking article, for fuck's sake, and there's this thing swooping down and actively stopping me reading it. I was this far from just canning the whole fucking page because they obviously don't want me reading the article.
And that's where these shit marketing tactics go wrong. If I'm prepared to ditch an article I'd gone to the effort of opening because you're dragging me away from reading it, how exactly is this encouraging me to stay on your page? And why the hell would I sign up to your mailing list (that I'm already on — might wanna look at adding referrer data to your email links...) if I can't read an article that might encourage me to sign up to it?
It's like my other popup peeve, the huge box that appears the moment your cursor strays within twenty pixels of the tab bar in case you were even thinking about closing the page. (You weren't, were you? Were you? You disgust me.) Because of course the only reason the cursor might be going up there is to close the page. No one would ever think of simply ... you know, switching tabs? That maybe it's a pretty long article and they wanted to do something else, like check Twitter or their email? No! Those filthy plebs were gonna leave your page! You give 'em what for with an intrusive popup, that'll change their minds! You guilt them into staying on your page!
Christ, talk about needy.
In short... No. It doesn't make me want to stay on your page. It makes me think you'll never stop pestering me until I do what you want me to.
Which makes you untrustworthy.