What is lightbox

I am learning the ends and outs of web pages, but what is lightbox and what does it do?

Put very simply a lightbox is a kind of “box” for material that is presented above the page. Typically the user clicks on something (like a button) and then the light boxed material pops up. You can lightbox a lot of things but it’s most often used for images and videos.

There are at least 2 big advantages of light boxed material (aside form an initial cool factor):

  1. if you have lots of embedded videos or images on a page then they all don’t have to load when the user first comes to the page. In turn pages load much quicker.
  2. Popping up can create a more focused, or distraction-free, viewing environment. In addition they can typically show material at a larger size. The consequence is, often, a more please viewing experience of either photos or videos.

Here’s an example page containing several light boxed videos (the blue buttons):

Note: the green buttons are downloads of examples, etc. This is a tutorial page about learning OmniGraffle. Light boxed using TopBox by Will Woodgate.