SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] challenging users vs. revealing that content/products are unavailable
Re: [Sigia-l] challenging users vs. revealing that content/products are unavailable
All I have to offer is an informed opinion and my own gut; No question,
ask where they need to go. To me, this is really at the core of
user-centered design, let the client tell you what they need and give
it to them. It looks like you're with a telcom, to the higher ups that
are fighting this, ask them how requesting a state differs from asking
if you are a new or existing client. If you can tailor the information
with one question, I vote to do it.
I don't know if there are any Monty Python fans out there, but when I
read this post I was immediately reminded of one of the Flying Circus
skits. A guy walks into a cheese shop and asks for a couple of
different cheeses, for each one that he asks the response is always
that they're out of that kind of cheese for one reason or another. So
the guy eventually asks the shop keep to pick one out for him. The
response is that they have too many kinds for the shop owner to pick it
out and that the client should just let him know what he wants. This is
followed by an agonizing list of cheeses that, of course, they are all
out of. While I'm sure the senior person on your team is well
intentioned, I personally would become quite frustrated if I went
through the process of selecting a product only to be told that I can't
have it. If I tried twice I'd become irritated. Three times, I'd be
down right angry.
My 2 cents,
On Aug 27, 2004, at 3:29 PM, Samantha Bailey wrote:
> I'd like to poll the group to get some input/feedback on a situation
> 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
> footprint," "out of footprint" and "Texas." The state you're in (i.e.
> 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
> 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*
> all of the information--in which case we could lead with blocks of
> and then show the product info or we could lead with product info and
> indicate the state specific information. (The way other product
> is organized the approach of product info first followed by state
> would be
> most parallel/consistent).
> 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
> is most relevant to them. Of course, if they want to compare what
> 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
> scenario and is *not* a frequent user concern for the products in
> 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
> so I don't really know the impact). In addition, we've recently tested
> wizard that required users to submit quite a bit of "personal"
> (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).
> that into account, I had been leaning toward the challenge approach.
> One of the senior folks on our team feels *very* strongly that a
> is virtually always inappropriate in public/unauthenticated space and
> very much opposed to the challenge approach, arguing that we should
> take the
> alternate approach and have users browse the information even if it
> 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
> 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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: Tue Aug 31 2004 - 22:15:33 EDT