Shaking The Habitual’s Popper Stack — A Rob Beattie Review

Popper Stack

Shaking The Habitual

If there’s a phrase that all designers hate, it’s the one where the client says: "I just want you to, you know… make it pop."

Well, the Popper stack won’t exactly do that - because it’s impossible to give someone what they want when they don’t know what they want - only what they don’t want! - but it will allow you to add some interesting visual effects to images, panels, box-outs, paragraphs, even headers, with a couple of mouse clicks.

There are five Popper styles - Dots, Blocks, Checks, Lines and Blobs - which display by default as wallpaper-style patterns with a size defined either in pixels, or as a percentage of whatever content you drop into the stack. Thus, setting the percentages to 100% will frame your entire content; and because there’s a z-index control, you can place the patterns in front of or behind content, and adjust the transparency of the colours and the padding to produce some really interesting effects.

Each of the Popper styles comes with a Pattern Maker section where you can fine tune their appearance and this, combined with the ability to use several Popper stacks at once, makes it a much more flexible visual tool that it first appears. As well as framing objects, you can use the Divider mode to produce section breaks to help organise your content and there’s also an included Squiggler stack which adds an animated horizontal line to pages, columns, boxes…wherever you can add a stack, really. Just make sure you test thoroughly on mobile devices though to make sure the effects are scaling the way you want them to.

Of course, the key to using any stack like this effectively is restraint. Too many Poppers on the page will diminish their impact - not to mention probably making the page look horrible. But used carefully, Popper can genuinely enhance the look of an entire website, add a navigation aid to group elements together and - whisper it - make your websites pop a little bit. Recommended.

Suggested price: £10.00