Accordion checkout forms

29 Sep 2011 - 5:03pm
2 years ago
4 replies
2266 reads
Sunny Medwed
2009

Hi all,
Our team is working with a client on their checkout redesign and have been utilizing the single page, accordion interaction model. Our rationale being that

  • it reduces cognitive load and is therefore faster that multi-page checkout.
  • using accordion presents information in bite size pieces and reduces issues with page length that come with single page checkout.


It's also proven to perform faster based on studies by Luke Wroblewski (thanks Luke!): http://www.alistapart.com/articles/testing-accordion-forms/

We've spoken to our client about all of the above and have encouraged that we conduct testing of our own. However, they are pushing for more second party research and studies. Is anyone aware of other studies or research they could share about the effectiveness of accordions for checkout forms?

Any help is much appreciated.

Thanks
Sunny Medwed

Senior Experience Architect
Critical Mass

Comments

29 Sep 2011 - 5:58pm
holger_maassen
2010

Hi Sunny,

Accordion forms have the potential to be really effective because, you have the potential designing a "clean" interface - you can combine it with a one-page-check-out or a cascading check-ou process.

If you have one unique path with just a few payment methods an accordion checkout form within just one page might be a good thing. But if you have various options and a few integrated payment methods and a few non-integrated payment methods - with the regarding comlpex validations and verification process it might be better to split the checkout in 2 to 4 steps.

My experience with check-out-processes is this - there isn't one clear way to the holy grail - it depends on your products, your client, client's validation processes, backend and payment processes  and  you should never the individual users and their expectations and experiences with check-outs in general and with your client and its line of business. 

http://ux4dotcom.blogspot.com/2011/01/shopping-carts-check-out-there-is-often.html

The Baymard Institute wrote a good E-Commerce Checkout Usability study - http://baymard.com/checkout-usability

 

30 Sep 2011 - 6:47am
William Hudson
2009

Do beware that accordians can be problematic for accessibility, mobile devices and older users. LW's study (mentioned earlier) concluded that the accordian form was a little quicker for his somewhat young and experienced test subjects. He mentions WAI-ARIA as a means of addressing accessibility, but that is a long way off for most browsers and assistive technology, although support is building.

 

Regards,

William Hudson
Syntagm Ltd
User Experience Strategist

http://www.syntagm.co.uk
skype:williamhudsonskype
twitter:SyntagmUCD 

Syntagm is a limited company registered in England and Wales (1985).
Registered number: 1895345. Registered office: 10 Oxford Road, Abingdon OX14 2DS.

UX and UCD courses in London and Brussels 
www.syntagm.co.uk/design/schedule.shtml

 

 

 

30 Sep 2011 - 6:47am
William Hudson
2009

Do beware that accordians can be problematic for accessibility, mobile devices and older users. LW's study (mentioned earlier) concluded that the accordian form was a little quicker for his somewhat young and experienced test subjects. He mentions WAI-ARIA as a means of addressing accessibility, but that is a long way off for most browsers and assistive technology, although support is building.

 

Regards,

William Hudson
Syntagm Ltd
User Experience Strategist

http://www.syntagm.co.uk
skype:williamhudsonskype
twitter:SyntagmUCD 

Syntagm is a limited company registered in England and Wales (1985).
Registered number: 1895345. Registered office: 10 Oxford Road, Abingdon OX14 2DS.

UX and UCD courses in London and Brussels 
www.syntagm.co.uk/design/schedule.shtml

 

 

 

1 Oct 2011 - 6:35pm
Caroline Jarrett
2007

I had to double-check the date of Luke's article on accordian forms, because recently he's been focusing on designing for mobile first. The article doesn't mention mobile at all! And it's pretty cautious in recommending accordians:

"Our quick test seems to indicate that accordion forms may have an interesting future online."

So, as usual, don't accept any opinions or research conducted by other people without asking yourself the usual questions:

- did these researchers work with users who are the same as those in my target group?

- did these researchers ask users to perform tasks that are very similar to the one I'm trying to design?

- how big was the effect that they found? That is, did they discover that two or more methods are broadly comparable with just minor difference, in which case either might be OK, or did they discover really major differences?

And the bottom line: go back and fight for the testing! You're right, testing with your target audience and your particular design is the right thing to do.

Caroline Jarrett

@cjforms

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