On importance of relevance

Just the other day a friend shared with me an online article on making corporate meetings more productive. It was one of those “12 ways to improve…” articles and it actually turned out to be a pretty good read. When I got to point 7, a message popped up taking the center of the screen and my attention with it.


We see pop ups like this all over the internet, and unfortunately they sneaked their way into user onboarding tours used to make using new online products easier. Unfortunately, they do the opposite.

Relevance is key in delivering information online. In the example of the article I was reading, I immediately closed the pop up and here is why:

1. It’s distracting. The message appeared halfway through the article and was distracting my attention.
2. It’s irrelevant. The message itself made absolutely no sense as it was completely irrelevant to the context of the article or the web page for that matter
3. Most importantly, It’s meaningless. It did not achieve desired action, which is making me engage with the message and take action by clicking the Yes button.

As the amount of information thrown at us online increases, we tend to quickly dismiss something that’s not relevant, making instantaneous decisions.

When you’re on the end of the fences, keeping your information relevant during onboarding could be pivotal to the success of your web application.

Here’s another example of what NOT to do


As soon as you land on this page, it will ask you to Like it on Facebook. The blackout in the background makes it quite insistent, focusing your attention on the pop up.

Now, this page is completely new for me. I don’t know what’s value of the content it delivers or what are the benefits of receiving updates, hence why would I like it?

On the opposite, if this pop up was served after I’ve read an article at the very end of my experience with the page gently suggesting: “Hey, if you liked this article, would you like to see more by liking on Facebook?” it would have been a completely different value proposition. Wonder how many more likes they would get then?

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