SIGIA-L Mail Archives: [Sigia-l] challenging users vs. revealing that content/products are unavailable
[Sigia-l] challenging users vs. revealing that content/products are unavailable
I'd like to poll the group to get some input/feedback on a situation we've
I'm interested to hear from you whether you've encountered this situation or
not--just getting informed opinions will be valuable.
We have a scenario where we have a series of products that are regulated by
state law such that they fall into 3 "buckets"--let's call the buckets "in
footprint," "out of footprint" and "Texas." The state you're in (i.e. one
of the states in footprint, states out of footprint, Texas) determines
whether or not you can have access to a product _and_ determines the
variability in rates/fees associated with the products (there are several
We've explored our options and it seems to boil down to either offering a
challenge in the form of asking users to specify their state (and then
presenting the appropriate suite of product/rate/fee info) *or* presenting
all of the information--in which case we could lead with blocks of states
and then show the product info or we could lead with product info and then
indicate the state specific information. (The way other product information
is organized the approach of product info first followed by state would be
On the one hand, the challenge option is the simplest--it allows us to
create a more elegant interface and present users with the information that
is most relevant to them. Of course, if they want to compare what scenarios
might exist if they were to purchase in other states they would have to do
that as a separate step (side by side comparison isn't supported in either
scenario and is *not* a frequent user concern for the products in question).
On the other hand, the challenge option *is* a challenge--it forces users to
give us information in exchange for content that we want to have
generally/publicly available on our site.
We have used challenges in the past in unavoidable scenarios and we did not
get a lot of negative feedback (unfortunately I don't have analytics to
gaugue whether we had a lot of abandonments at the point of the challenge,
so I don't really know the impact). In addition, we've recently tested a
wizard that required users to submit quite a bit of "personal" information
(i.e., far more sensitive than State) and we were surprised how willing
people were to provide that information (granted, they were anticipating a
greater "payoff" from the wizard than standard product information). Taking
that into account, I had been leaning toward the challenge approach.
One of the senior folks on our team feels *very* strongly that a challenge
is virtually always inappropriate in public/unauthenticated space and is
very much opposed to the challenge approach, arguing that we should take the
alternate approach and have users browse the information even if it means
that in some scenarios they'll learn that the product being described is not
available in their state.
I'm interested in two things:
1) What do you think about challenges in public space? Anyone know of
data/reports about the impact on user experience? What have your experiences
2) What have your experiences been when users are able to browse
content/product information that they then learn is not available? Is this a
negative user experience, or are users appreciative of seeing as much
information as possible?
Samantha Bailey | samantha_at_baileysorts.com
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: Mon Aug 30 2004 - 23:49:35 EDT