There is no definite answer for this.
From both usability and implementation perspective, the two are rather different; and they fall into record-editing strategies. Records can be presented in a tabular form.
Essentially, the decision boils down to a few main factors:
- How complicatedthe record is:
- Amount of fields
- Validation complexity
- How often users need a quickway of editing specific fields?
- Would users benefit from seeing other recordson screen, while editing a record?
We have, in principle, 3 leading patterns:
When the user wish to edit a record a model dialog is shown. There are a few advantages to this pattern:
- It implements dead-end navigation. Meaning users can’t navigate anywhere other than back to where they came from by pressing Save/Okor Cancel to exit the dialog. This type of navigation is very intuitive and clear, where users shall be clear about what will happen (unlike with some other solution).
- If there are only a couple of fields in each row and it’s a “dead end”, a light box makes sense. Dead end meaning there aren’t any other actions that will take the user to another page.
- It allows Cancel option.
- The fact we are using a dialog means there’s more display space, which helps:
- to present help text
- cluster the data into headings
- present validation errors in a clearer manner
- Primary reasons why Popup works is – they use large size, interruption and cognitive concordance to hyper-focususer attention and take action.
- Interruptive behavior forces user to atleast momentarily notice the things which is intended for. ( Marketting example – commercials )
- Example : http://demos.telerik.com/kendo-ui/grid/editing-popup
- It’s helps to show damn results very fast. (collect email addresses, clicks and so on). For example, we show users some widgets/popups with messages like (your cart is about to expire, bounced visitors and so on).
- Cart expiring, visitor behavior and related proactive popups can work very well in an eCommerce environment. What works best is to use both personalization and behavioral targeting to customize the popup for the behavior you’re trying to influence. For example, triggering a popup to offer a 10% off code to the user if the user starts to abandon a full shopping cart (or one that has a monetary value over a certain range) can be very helpful for reducing cart abandonment plus saving larger-sized orders. Likewise, offering a free download of a whitepaper to a prospective B2B website visitor, but only on select product pages where that whitepaper is highly related, is a great way to increase leads coming from high-value calls to action.