What makes for a useful user account?

As users on Avvo are navigating the site beyond PDP's and funnel conversion and returning to the site, I started tackling the idea of user accounts, and what is necessary in order to be useful. In many situations, pretty much every site with post-login content requires one, yet we don't give them much attention. This can result in a hit on retention for the business with our most valued visitors.

What is a user account?

  • A representation of a user in the system

  • Literally connecting a user to a set of permissions

  • A well-designed system for setting up a user account means having a user experience as elegant and simple as possible

  • Fitting a user's mental model will increase member retention and keep customers happy

What isn't a user account

  • A profile. Users are logging into user accounts looking for information specific to themselves

  • Information connected to a user account also isn't session specific. Cookies should be used to save info when possible.

What This Tells Us

  • Since a user account is not focused on session-specific information, we should provide the following static, user-specific content:

  • Personal info/Contact info

  • Security info

  • Links to members-only content areas

  • Content users have uploaded to the site

Make it useful

  • Provide access to a user's account globally

  • Dedicate a link to the account

  • More

  • Inline editing

  • Security features

  • Delete/Save/Export/Import options

  • Content submissions - reviews, comments, pictures

  • User history

Citation: UXBooth

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