When reviewing product feedback, it’s sensible to delve into the “why” of each request.
What problem does this solve? Who does it benefit? Why is it important?
But when product behaviour leads to support requests, I try to think about how to reduce those requests.
When we rolled out Okta last year, we got a lot of people saying they chose the SMS verification method, but the code never arrived.
After a bit of testing, the issue became clear: the user needed to click the “Send code” button or the SMS message wouldn’t arrive.
It sounds obvious – but if you look at the dialog, it’s not all that clear.
You need to click “Send code” to get the code. But this is an odd UI pattern, because the “Send code” button looks like a Submit button for the “Enter code” field. Whereas in fact, the “Verify” button is the Submit button.
We’ve had lots of support requests for this. We end up saying “you need to click the Send code button” and the person feels silly. But I understand why people don’t realise they need to click the button. The layout doesn’t make any sense, as it doesn’t work in the sequence you’d expect.
I think it would be better if it did this:
- You see a box that says “SMS Authentication” with some text: “To verify via SMS, click the button and you will receive a code. You will be able to enter the code on the next step.”. Then a button saying “Send code”.
- Upon clicking “Send code”, the code is sent, and you’re taken to the next stage. The text would say: “We’ve sent a code to your device. Please check the code and type it below. If it doesn’t arrive, click Resend code”. Then there would be a text field for the code, and a button saying “Verify code”. To avoid confusion with another button, perhaps the Resend code option could be triggered by clicking the text “Resend code”.
- If the code is entered correctly, voila – you’re in. If not, a message would say “Incorrect code” and give the option to request a new one.
And because it’s easier to show you than describe it well, here’s a bad picture of the proposed layout I drew in about 2 minutes.
Perhaps Okta Verify is the better method to use. But still, while SMS is an option, I think the two stage approach would be much simpler to follow – and I’d argue it would reduce support requests.
By making software intuitive and easy to use, we save time for end users, and save time for support teams. Win win.