September 3rd, 2008
Lightbox and Other Modal Overlay Effects
Not everyone is a fan of the modal overlay, but for the most part the web design community seems to be embracing them. [azarask.in via 37signals] They definitely add to the elusive cool factor of a website without a great deal of programming work required. You simply download one of the libraries and configure it.
If cool was all that was provided, I’m not sure I would really like them. I really dig them, though, because I consider them to be a UI upgrade. It’s important when designing a website to clearly communicate to the visitor what they should be focusing on and how they can interact with it. Modals are a perfect fit for this. Graying out the background information makes it immediately obvious where the action is.