Unbounce: Popups & Sticky Bars

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 10.37.36 PM

Unbounce’s bread and butter is a drag and drop landing page builder, enabling marketers to design and build high performing landing pages without the assistance of a developer. 

We wanted to move beyond landing pages by adding a second product to our core offering. Our customers were seeking the ability to use the Unbounce page builder for more than just landing pages, wanting to use it’s conversion design tools to capture leads on their other web properties.

Role Product Design & Research

The Audience

From customer interviews & user data, we had knew that our audience of digital marketers was hungry to user our page builder tool for more. This digitally savvy but code hesitant group wanted to be able to apply the same drag and drop power that we had given them for landing pages to all kinds of content.  

Scope & Constraints

We had 3 months to develop a proof of concept, and get a working prototype in the hands of some select customers. 

The Plan

We needed an interface that would allow marketers to choose specifically which page (or group of pages) a piece of content (like a popup, or floating bar) should appear on.

Popups were chosen as the first piece of content to be powered by the script.  We knew the internet didn’t need more bad popups, so as a team we made it our mission to build the best popup design tool we could. We built in guard rails to prevent our customers from annoying visitors to their web properties whenever possible.  

The Team

Our core team consisted of myself, another product designer, 3 engineers & a QA. I was the feet on the ground for design, while my partner floated around to all of the projects our UX team was working on, making sure things were consistent and context was shared around. 

User Experience Challenges

It became apparent that there were two key parts of the experience to solve for: building the content & setting up targeting. 

1 - Building the Content
With a tight deadline, we chose to work with our existing builder. Although time saving , this meant we were up against both the technical and design constraints of an aging piece of software. What fun! 

2 - Targeting the Content
Based on competitive analysis, customer interviews & surveys we determined that the system needed to be designed to enable 7 different kinds of targeting. 



Our first draft was a build your own adventure style of targeting. Users could add any targeting rule in any order. While effective & scalable, early usability tests indicated that left less opportunity to coach marketers through the steps of setting up a well timed & placed popup. 



Based on early usability studies, and conversations with our engineers about what would become most sustainable, we opted instead to lay out each of the categories into their own sections. This enabled us to teach our users about what settings they should be using to reach their campaign objectives.


The Results

We launched an MVP version with 3 of the 7 targeting categories now available. In order to drive adoption, we moved to include popups & sticky bars in the same template picker as our landing pages (initially they were in a separate space) which drastically improved their visibility. The day we pushed that change there was a significant spike in the number of people creating popups.


Launch day

What We Learned

  1. What you name your product / feature matters. We went through 2 other names (Embeddables, then Convertables) before we returned to the one we said we would never use. Pop Ups. For better or for worse, it’s the one that our customers understood the most. 
  2. No surprise here, but where you put the content is just as important as the content itself. We iterated on what kind of script installation instructions we provided to customers, but the current hypothesis is that they are in the wrong location. The fact that they are at the end of your build experience and separate from the publish action is where we would focus our attention next. 
  3. Listen to a proper sampling of your target audience. We have a dedicated team of unbounce experts that we used to beta test this feature, but they are EXPERTS and do not represent what most customers would experience when using this tool. We needed to spend more time with the beginners. 
  4. You inherit the behaviors you have taught your customers. We told our customers that we were a landing page builder and thus most of our customers who use popups & sticky bars install them on landing pages, not on other non unbounce pages (which was the whole point of investing in that very powerful script).

Selected Works