Posts from User experience

Feature Friday: The Checkout Form

One of the most aggravating things about commerce online and on mobile is the inconsistent checkout experience site to site and app to app. It's one of the many things that keeps me shopping at Amazon and clicking on the PayPal button when its available. That and stored payment credentials.

Last week I saw something that makes me think we may be heading in the right direction. Stripe, the fast growing payments company, introduced Stripe Checkout. Now, if you choose to use it, Stripe will give you a standard checkout form for both web and mobile. It's a few lines of code in your app and Stripe takes care of the rest. It is optimized for the user experience and for the device. And they plan to keep optimizing it so that developers who use it will see better and better conversion rates.

But this is also great for the buyer. Now when I see this button below, I know I am going to pay with Stripe and I know what I am in for in terms of user experience.

Stripe button

It's like the good housekeeping seal of approval. I know I am going to get a simple and easy checkout flow.

The next thing I'd like to see from Stripe is stored payment credentials. Then they would enter the land of Amazon and PayPal for me for sure.


Auto Update

When I first installed the Twitter for Android app, I checked auto update. That apparently is not a default setting for apps on Android. I don't even know if the iPhone has an auto update feature because I don't use an iPhone. But in any case, sometime in the past ten days Twitter updated its Android app. I hadn't been paying attention and did not know that. One morning I opened Twitter on my phone, like I normally do, and the app was different and better. It was like using a  web app. New features, faster, cleaner. It was a great experience and I tweeted about it.

One of the things I love about web apps is they get better all the time without any need to update the software on the user's end. You can approximate that experience by enabling auto update on your mobile apps (at least I know you can do that on Android).

Since I had that experience with Twitter for Android, I've gone back and enabled auto update on all my Android apps. And the experience is fantastic.

I understand why this is not a default feature. If you are on an expensive mobile data plan or if you are roaming, auto updating over mobile data could be expensive. Some people might want to do all of their updating over wifi.

But I do think Android should make it an option for a user to set the default at the OS level and not at the individual app level. Because if you have a mobile data plan that allows affordable over the air auto updating, it's a materially better user experience.

Over time, with the improvments that are coming with HTML5 and improvements that will come in the mobile operating systems, mobile apps will feel more and more like web apps. Until we get there, auto updating is a great way to get that feel with downloadable software.