Good stuff Mr Harrop. Sorry, my reply is longer than your blog 🙄 as we have struggled with this issue for over a year.
On Registered Traveller the challenge has been the difference between the application form and the wider service that users gets. Whilst the form doesn’t need any explanation (we have done hundreds of iterations and serious user research hours), it is still only a bit of the end to end journey.
After the form and initial security checks we still have to match the data with the passport and this has to be done physically (for now) to complete membership. But when we explained this at the start it was generally ignored and our mailbox was full of questions. Even with lots of content work on the outputs we found many users didn’t read it.
As user needs are so varied we had to be flexible, most of these are business travellers and can be really interested about the details of the service. A lot have said that they feel honoured and privileged to be members so they want to know all of the detail, but in their own time (we have a net promoter score of 63). At the same time, at the start, they often don’t want to read lots on the intro page as they want to click and do the form.
It’s only as they engage with the form or get notice of the next steps that new questions arise. So whilst it’s not perfect and still needs more work, we have found that we feed them bits of service information as they go along. And we do also have a comprehensive ‘more info’ page which is about the service (not the form). The analytics show this is heavily used and read.
So I would strongly advocate always having flexibility around the form/service based on user needs. As you know (and get lots of credit for) on our global entry and evw work we have used more design and graphics to meet the needs of those users and this approach really works in conveying information easily.
I’m keen to get more ideas on this whole area as it’s a big issue for users, especially as for all our services we are asking users to pay so have to get better at explaining the service. Having nice clear white space with limited content is great but some extra information has to be somewhere and start pages aren’t enough.