Dear New Yorker, and All Website Owners With Popups

This is not how you get me to subscribe. Holy overlays, batman!

First, we have both a top and bottom pop-up. And that narrow space in the center? That’s not even the content from the article. It’s an ad. One that auto-plays. Horrible. Here, learn something about accessibility and usability.

Screenshot of New Yorker website with popups and ads everywhere.

Okay, I’m going to close the bottom panel first. Except I can’t make it go away entirely. I can only “collapse” it. By the time I’ve done that, you’re already moving me to a second ad I can’t turn off, which also auto-plays. OBNOXIOUS!

Screenshot of New Yorker website with autoplay video ad.

Now, I love Keanu, but I’m going to close the top panel as well, so maybe I can actually read the article I clicked into. Woohoo! I can see the title. Almost there!

Screenshot of New Yorker website with autoplay video ad and a small piece of the actual written content from the article showing.

Finally, I can see where I’m trying to go, and I scroll down to read this beautiful prose. And you, The New Yorker, scream, “NOT SO FAST, BUDDY!”

Screenshot of New Yorker website with popup subscribe form blocking all the content I want to read.

At this point, I’m pretty tired of your shit. I probably won’t even finish the article. You have hijacked my entire user experience to try to get me to subscribe. Probably because some marketing person told you this was a best practice, or some bullshit. I feel bad for the author of this article. It’s good content. You’ve buried it and made it hard to read.

Is this your desired outcome?

Not only are you not going to convert me to a subscriber with this garbage, you’re also going to prevent me from sharing your stories with others. I don’t want to send people I like and value to horrible user experiences.

Please make it stop. Good content will make me subscribe. Bad design makes me run for the hills.

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