Optimizing the purchase journey on Sprint’s website

Boris J.
3 min readDec 14, 2018

The speed of the human mind is remarkable. So is its inability to face the obvious.

- Simon Mawer

Solving the Mensa test shouldn't be complicated since the idea is that almost everyone can solve it, the question is: how fast?

The speed of understanding the content on the screen depends on the user’s ability to process information and the physical conditions of the place where the device is. As conditions are not always ideal and require reduced cognitive overload, we can assume that minimal UI is good, but sometimes (as the user cannot react to the obvious) — simplicity is not enough.

Sometimes, even a simple sentence in a trivial confirmation pop-up in the app may cause the user to stop at that point, unable to make a decision.

Why is that happening?

We must recognize that distractions affecting user experience are not always external or obvious, such as reading while in motion or push notifications that block critical app areas until dismissed.

There is also the less obvious but equally crucial issue of the user’s thoughts, which can divert their attention. The human brain struggles to multitask, impacting the user’s ability to respond to UI and affecting the speed with which he can complete tasks.

Photo by Joao Tzanno

How to improve user experience in these situations, where the user’s ability to react is slower than anticipated?

Sprint, a mobile network operator, recently introduced a security feature requiring users to create a new password immediately after logging in.

While advanced users may not have difficulty creating a strong password, novice or average users can become frustrated trying to meet the requirements (e.g., at least one number, uppercase letter, and special character: _ $ * # @ ! +) without a means to skip the process.

The user wanted to purchase a new device! Can the password update wait a bit?

Just like it was waiting until the user logged in? Of course, it can! Because the user wants to buy your product(s)!

Example of the current Sprint password update screen

How can we solve the password update screen stuck point?

Solution: When a password update pop-up appears on the screen and the user is unable to continue for any reason, they can click the “I’ll do it later” button, which minimizes the pop-up, allowing them to focus on another task.

At any point, the user can quickly reopen the pop-up to complete the password update:

Sprint’s password update screen modified to include the “I’ll do it later” button

To prevent the user from abandoning the purchase process, the password update screen can be available in the footer, allowing the user to access it later, after completing their purchase:

Sprint’s password update screen could be minimized in the footer after selecting “I’ll do it later”

In mobile applications very useful option, except for the “I’ll do it later” button, is a countdown timer that minimizes the pop-up after a timeout.

We can determine the optimal timeout value for an application’s target audience by assessing the average user’s task completion speed, measured through analytics and UI testing.


borisjankovic.com

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Boris J.

UX/UI Designer based in California — Apps | Wearables | VR | Automotive