I love the Pocket app –its concept and usability. I recently saved an article from Financial Times on my desktop and then opened it later to read on my Pocket phone app. Since FT is subscriber-only access, an embedded FT login screen appeared which made me immediately pause and panic.
I paused because I encountered a speed bump –something that slowed me down and interrupted my continuity in the app. I panicked because I instantly wondered if this would happen every time. The potential of encountering this speed bump every time I opened a subscriber-only article made me anxious. Especially because of computer-generated passwords. So, I considered sub-par alternatives such as not saving subscriber-only articles, or only viewing subscriber-only articles on my desktop which has auto-login (or, finally setting up 1Password). Anything to avoid the speed bumps.
I hesitatingly decided to proceed with the login page. Without reading the article, I backed out of the article, opened another one, and returned to the FT article. Would the login persist? Indeed! The experience felt like upgrading from a dirt road to pavement. 😎
That success encouraged curiosity. I exited out of the app session, reopened the app, and clicked on the FT article. Verdict? Still logged in! We are on the highway again! 🏎 Another reason to love the thoughtfulness of Pocket.
The pause and panic resulted in relief. Even with a happy ending, I reflected on my initial, instinctive responses. Those emotions illustrate the learned anxiety from interacting with previous failures of apps to deliver on an expectation. In the pause and panic, we as users wonder, Was this a user story that the product manager had considered, or is this still on the nice-to-have back burner… or worse, was this in the abyss of never-considered?
As we all know, much of the customer experience involves emotions. Emotions drive our decisions to continue, explore a new path, or exit. Emotions are what make us return to an app again and again.
Thankfully, Pocket got it right in this case and saved me a lifetime of re-logins. I have to admit, I triple-checked. And I always will until the day we no longer have the pause and panic.