I am confident that there isn't a single person I have ever met that actually likes pop-up windows. By this, I mean, the extra browser window that pops up on top of the one you're viewing. They are probably one of the most annoying features an internet user has had to deal with. That and auto-play music that you can't turn off, but we'll leave that for another post.
Fortunately, the pop-up blocker came about. We loved it. We turned it on and viola, Pop-ups were gone. Yay!
Then, not long after, we were greeted with the pop-under. Same concept, but somehow, these browser windows used a different type of script and opened BEHIND the active browser window we were viewing. You don't even know they are there unless you you hear some kind of annoying clicking, dinging or music and have no idea where it's coming from unless you close the main window you are trying to view. I can honestly say, I'm not totally sure how to prevent the pop-under.
Enter the overlay lightbox popup window. Ugh. For a person like me who's online all day long, these are horrible. I don't really know anyone who likes these. They are actually worse then the original popups b/c they are sneaky and are often delayed. As you are browsing and may start to read your article, you are interrupted by an obnoxious window that covers everything shamelessly begging you to signup for the unwanted newsletter they are offering. What's worse is that you are greeted with this stupid window EVERY TIME you visit the site. Let's go one step further: these overlay pop-up windows are NOT mobile compatible so you can't even close them! Clearly, there is no intelligence factor. If there is, I've never come across a site who effectively uses it. There is no “opt-out” button and no memory that I have said no several times before. The most annoying part of many of these types of pop-ups is that they ask you to sign up for something before you've even had a chance to visit the site or read an article so you can make a decision about whether or not you want to hear from these people on a regular basis.
Some people are FOR the use of pop-ups, and some are against. Chances are that if you are FOR them, you are probably someone who uses them. However, those are the people who probably sell 30 banner ads on their main sidebar and care less about he UX/UI than making money – but that's just my opinion.