UX Principle #5 - Automate, Automate, Automate!

  • By
    Brooke Cowling
    September 23, 2018
    June 15, 2022

In case you missed it, last time we talked about the importance of keeping your users updated and using microinteractions to indicate when a task has been registered or completed.

Today. Automate, automate, automate! Automate as much as you can! Why? Because when you automate, you reduce the amount of effort your users need to complete a task, which is a great thing. The system should do the hard work, not your users.

Take online payment for example. Some websites still ask the user to select the type of card they are paying with, whether it's VISA, Mastercard or American Express. This is unnecessary. The first 5 numbers of a credit card (the BIN number) is actually based on the card type. If you can determine the type of card a user is using when they enter their card details, why do you have to ask them to choose first? It’s just another (unnecessary) step. This is a prime example of automating and reducing the users effort.

How about that good ol’ billing address? Do you really need it? In most cases, no, you don’t. In a previous life, the billing address was captured to send, yup you guessed it, bills to the address! In some countries, the billing address is used to check against fraud. However, you’ll be surprised at how infrequently the billing address is actually verified with the credit card provider. These days it’s not needed, so it’s a good idea to check with the card provider to find out if and what is actually required.

Amazon implemented the one-click checkout early on. Why do you think this has been so successful? They store credit card and delivery information in the back-end, like most companies. However, they decided to take a risk and skip the CVV check to help create a seamless user experience. That means users only have to click once and they’re done. That’s automation at its best.

Here’s my personal favourite. Apple Pay for desktop. Simply pull out your phone (because let’s face it, unless you’re living in the 90s, everyone has a phone on them or nearby) scan and pay. Customers don’t have to remember a thing, they simply pull out their phone, tap the Apple Pay button and use Touch ID to pay.

Taking it one step further, you can now use facial recognition to pay for your groceries. Now that’s automation!

To recap…. automate as much as you can behind the scenes to reduce effort for the customer, they’ll thank you for it!

Tomorrow we’re looking at recognition over recall. Stay tuned.


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