Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums Internet Marketing
and Conversion Web Design


Login Form Design

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 CGYFlames03


    New To Community

  • Members
  • 1 posts

Posted 29 October 2007 - 10:38 AM

I’m curious as to what is the best design when it comes to an account/login application being down. For example, if American Express’ account management was down, is it best for the user to enter their user ID and PW, try to log in, then get a new screen with an error message that it’s down for maintenance?

Or, is it more ideal to replace the form on the homepage with a “Sorry, account management is down for routine maintenance” message? I can see arguments for both sides… New users/first time visitors will get negative emotions from seeing something ‘down’.. although users will be frustrated that they had to log in, then get an error message. Furthermore, they might go back and try again and be more dissatisfied.

#2 Guest_Autocrat_*

  • Guests

Posted 29 October 2007 - 11:31 AM

I, personally, would put the message above the form, and disable the form input.

You do not mention "down" instead, you give a message such as...

"Currently, NNN is receiving routine maintainance and security updates.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you - NNN will be fully functional within a short time period.
Thank you for your patience and understanding."

#3 cre8pc


    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 14771 posts

Posted 29 October 2007 - 12:00 PM

In addition to what Autocrat said...

If there's a way to offer a warning for scheduled downtime, this helps usability by creating credibility and signals an interest in customer satisfaction.

If permitted, I'd add a toll free phone number and/or email to customer service rep on the page, to show a way of being available and offering an alternative contact.

Like you said, you don't want to lose existing customers and don't want to send a negative signal to new or potential customers.

Definitely don't let someone go through any steps, only to end up at a dead-end. :)

#4 Respree


    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5901 posts

Posted 29 October 2007 - 12:43 PM

Frustration occurs when an expection is created, then not fulfilled OR when an expection is not created.

Unfulfilled expectation: We'll be open at 9:00 a.m. Somebody comes back at 9:30 a.m. and you're still closed.
No expectation created: We're closed (Huh?, when will you be open)

Don't leave people hanging. Every site has to go through some maintenance at some point or another. I think people expect that and will be tolerant. What they won't be tolerant of is if you say, 'come back soon' only to find that when they return (soon), you're still down.

Communicate clearly and usabilbility will improve.

#5 Guest_joedolson_*

  • Guests

Posted 29 October 2007 - 02:07 PM

New users/first time visitors will get negative emotions from seeing something ‘down’.. although users will be frustrated that they had to log in, then get an error message. Furthermore, they might go back and try again and be more dissatisfied.

New users will also be frustrated by going to the time and effort of creating a new account, then finding themselves unable to log in. Or, if your registration process is linked to the system which is down, they'll be frustrated by their inability to create new accounts.

There's never really any advantage from NOT giving users as much advance warning as possible about functions which won't work. If possible, advance scheduled notice that the system will be down is great. But even if that isn't possible, you should ABSOLUTELY let them know that the system is down before they attempt to use it.

#6 Guest_Autocrat_*

  • Guests

Posted 29 October 2007 - 02:17 PM

Also, if you can avoid it, do not give definitive times (unless you have padded them to allow for mistakes/errors/holdups).

If you expect it to be up by 2 PM...
"Service should be resumed by 5pm"
"Service should be resumed by Evening Time"

The first pads out the time margin by 3 Hours (always good - if you get it done sooner - even better :))
The second is so flamming general, you should beable to get it (not only the padded time, but several hours rather than a specific).

#7 aaron_s


    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 3 posts

Posted 31 December 2007 - 02:06 PM

From my days in the ISP tech support center, the word 'down' is a HUGE NO-NO. I can't tell you how many times we had customers who couldn't get their e-mail and would call us asking if we were 'down'. As soon as you mentioned that, they flew off the handle if it were true (hardly ever though!!) We started using words like maintenance, issue, etc.

The best unavailable message I saw was a highlighted message above the form login saying that there was scheduled maintenance and information backup. Then, it gave a time, telephone number and link to contact form.

#8 xb90


    New To Community

  • Members
  • 2 posts

Posted 02 January 2008 - 02:05 PM

If the outage is due to a scheduled maintenance, then it is fair to state it as such and disable the logon form so users will not inadvertently navigate to a dead-end. I believe it is also the responsibility of the site owner to give some sort of forewarning about any planned outage to its users and schedule it to occur at a time when it will be the least disruptive (if possible).

However, if the site is simply having technical difficulties, I would be up-front about that (still disable the logon form of course) and advise users that technicians are working to restore service asap.

Obviously you can't forewarn users about an unplanned outage, so you might as well fess-up and try to do better next time.

Edited by xb90, 02 January 2008 - 02:06 PM.

RSS Feed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users