Turning Off Default Browser Security As Prerequisite

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but come on, designers and developers, you do know that it’s very poor form–and it’s likely to be very abandoned form/promotion/application when your site relies on pop-up browser windows that the browsers themselves block.

I mention it again because the news flash hasn’t made its way around the Internet yet. In the last couple of days, I’ve found a couple of sites using Flash that try to open a new window from within the Flash, and in both cases Firefox and Internet Explorer 7 say nuh-uh, girlfriend.

The first is the home page for Graco Baby Products. The first time you visit it, and only the first time you visit it apparently, it displays a sweepstakes program of some sort:

Click Enter here, and you're done.
Click for full size

If you click that Enter Now button, you’re done. The pop-up is blocked and the page won’t display the link again the next time you reload the page. Which makes the odds better for the people who actually get to it, I guess.

Sorry, I don’t have a screenshot of the pop-up blocker notification since I can’t get the Flash overlay again. Also, I can’t get the swell JavaScript error that displays if you let the overlay automatically close via a timeout. But the point remains: if you’re going to use a plugin to elicit a pop-up window, you’d better make sure it works in spite of the browsers’ native pop-up blockers.

The Best Buy Hang with Hancock Better Summer Sweepstakes does the same thing. Here’s the page with the Flash-based Enter Today link:

Enter today, heh heh heh
Click for full size

Click that link, and:

IE throws a hip check
Click for full size

Denied.

I told you guys once, I told you a thousand times about that pop-up blocker. Watch your AJAX, watch your plugins, and freaking test the thing before you send it to QA or put it live. But QA is a tell you once, tell you a thousand times sort of job.

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