Attack of the Contextual Popup helpers


Startup Snap has been with us for as long as I can remember the modern Web 2.0. While a lot of geeks really hate it, it’s a great thing for novice internet users, since it turns out that they are afraid of clicking links and this removes the ambiguity of that link. kindly provided a detailed use case and usability findings about their widget that supports this finding. Even though it’s from the makers themselves, it’s still a good read.

Recently Apture, introduced similar, yet not the same, functionality by providing contextual information for certain types of links, like Wikipedia. They made some interesting progress in fluid dynamic, so their boxes bounce around in a really cool fashion.

They’re both very useful for your site visitors, especially if you want to keep on your site, without making them lost in Wikipedia, with no hope of ever finding outside web. There’s only one thing you have to watch out when using them – don’t use them together. Otherwise you’ll get this kind of situation like on the TechCrunch today:


Snap and Apture fighting for Top overlay location
Snap and Apture fighting for Top overlay location

There’s also an alternative solution for both popup makers to detect when they are running side-by-side and develop their algorithms in a way that doesn’t overlay one on top of each other. 

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