Take a moment to think about the last time you visited a website and were presented with a pop-up inviting you to complete an online survey. How did you feel? Distracted? Possibly a little annoyed? 

I’m pretty certain that your motivation for visiting the website that day was not to complete a customer survey (unless of course, you are a UX geek like me who enjoys filling in such things for research).

Perhaps the distraction was only fleeting and you quickly dismissed the pop-up and continued on your journey. Perhaps the survey even gave you the choice to complete it later.

Or maybe you were in the minority of site visitors and weren’t in a rush, felt charitable or curious and decided to complete the survey (probably only to discover no doubt, that it took much longer to complete than you were originally promised!).  

The heavy-handed ‘none shall pass’ style of survey pop-up demonstrated below by JUST EAT is obviously a fairly (and admittedly, deliberately) extreme example of a website attempting to encourage users to perform a particular task that is likely to be at odds with their actual motivation for visiting.

I am not singling out JUST EAT specifically, as this is a very common practice. I use the example instead to illustrate that depending upon the point a user has reached in their journey through your site or service, their openness to suggestion (and possible distraction) is understandably going to vary.


JUST EAT online survey. Erm, no thanks – I’m hungry (and besides, if I really wanted to fill in your survey I would have clicked the persistent link in the bottom corner …)

If this survey had been shown after the customer had successfully placed an order (on the confirmation page for example), it would quite probably have received a significantly higher percentage of clickthroughs.

There are of course trade-offs with this approach (less people will see the invite, survey results will only be from customers who have successfully managed to place an order which may skew the findings, etc.) and I am sure JUST EAT took all this into consideration when deciding where to place the pop-up, but my point here is that timing can be everything when it comes to persuasive design

Design for ‘seducible moments’

When discussing seductive design for websites (way back in 1998!), Tara Scanlon noted:

Seducible moment[s] can happen only when users have completed at least part of their original quest. It’s difficult to lure users away until they’ve reached this (self-defined) point; before that, they will simply ignore distractions.

Consider Amazon (below), which has persuasive design pretty much nailed.

By moving the ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought’ section into a more prominent position higher up the page once a customer has added an item to their wishlist, it has deliberately identified and designed for a seducible moment.

Adding something to your wish list no longer becomes the potential end of a visit, but quite possibly the start of another journey. There are plenty of other persuasive design factors at play on this page as well, such as social proof and reciprocity, but that’s a post for another day…


Amazon Wish List confirmation – designing for a seducible moment

Make use of the logout confirmation page

One ‘seducible moment’ that I often see missed is on the confirmation page displayed after customers have successfully logged out of a secure section of a website or online service.

By transforming an otherwise functional logout confirmation page into something more persuasive, new sources of revenue and engagement traffic could potentially be unlocked.

Some sites (e.g. Virgin media, John Lewis, and many more) even forgo a logout confirmation page entirely and just return the user to the website’s homepage.

10 things to consider

Wait till users are open to suggestion

Users are typically going to be more focused on the immediate task at hand at the start of their journey, and therefore less open to suggestion.

However, once your customer has successfully ‘scratched the itch’ that brought them to your website in the first place, messaging that might otherwise have been seen as an irrelevant distraction or even an annoying inconvenience, might be more favourably received.

You can GO BIG with your messaging

In fact you’ll need to in order to make sure you attract your customers’ attention.

Other than confirming the customer has logged out, there isn’t much else that this page needs to do from a functional perspective, so you have a nice big canvas to play with. This could even include incorporating rich media such as video content.

Use the logout page

In some instances, the logout confirmation page is likely to be seen by a huge percentage of your visitors.

In fact, outside of the homepage, it is probably going to be one of the most viewed pages of some websites, particularly for services dealing with financial or sensitive personal information that have naturally higher logout rates.

I have observed rates for financial services clients where 44% of their customers consistently saw the logout page (equating to about 370,000 unique visitors a month) which is a huge potential audience – especially if you look to regularly mix up your messaging in order to avoid habituation.

Outlook logout page  – full screen SkyDrive and Surface promotion 
Outlook logout page: full screen SkyDrive and Surface promotion

Some customers won’t logout

Yes, some customers will simply never bother to logout (of any site, not just yours) so they won’t see your post logout content – but a percentage will, and that is your chance to target them with a suitably tailored message.

Perhaps this conscientious and risk-adverse subset of customers will respond well to a corresponding product or feature?

Personalise the logout confirmation page

In fact, the logout confirmation page is perfect for personalisation. While they might no longer be logged in, you already know a great deal about that customer and could choose to promote (or omit) specific products or features accordingly.

That said, any attempt at post log-out personalisation should be suitably subtle (especially if based on historical activity within a secure login area), and with some reassurance (i.e. “why am I seeing these products”) to avoid any fear among your customers that their privacy has been compromised.

You could use the page for ads

You could even use the page for third party services or advertising, as eBay UK has done.

This certainly won’t be appropriate for everyone, but could be an option if you have a large volume of traffic through this page and wanted to create an additional revenue stream (eBay’s implementation below is pretty tacky and horrible, however…).

eBay UK’s logout page with third party advertisements for Suzuki and TalkTalk 

eBay UK’s logout page with third party advertisements for Suzuki and TalkTalk

Highlight key features

This isn’t just about product or offer promotions though.

The logout confirmation is also a great opportunity to highlight key features or functionality that you might want to promote in order to increase customer awareness, or highlight competitive differentiation such as in these examples from NatWest and Linkedin.

NatWest – vibrant, full page width engagement feature for their personal finance tool

NatWest – vibrant, full page width engagement feature for their personal finance tool

Linkedin – take the chance to cross-promote their Pulse mobile news app 

Linkedin – take the chance to cross-promote their Pulse mobile news app

Time for the pop-up?

Similarly, maybe now is the time to show that online survey pop-up?

Barclaycard – Survey pop-up shown on the logout confirmation page instead

Barclaycard – Survey pop-up shown on the logout confirmation page instead

Personalise the pop-up

Following on from my earlier point about personalisation above, why not combine the two, by referencing the customer’s first name for example.

Research has shown that even the simplest forms of personalisation can have a huge impact on survey results.

In his famous ‘sticky note’ study, Randy Garner found that both completion rates and the quality of responses increased for personalised survey invitations.


Even if customers do not choose to click on your message at that time, you might still be helping to raise awareness that will lead to a conversion at a later date.

Repetition itself has been proven to be persuasive – especially if people are not giving you their full attention which is quite likely to be the case for a logout confirmation page.

The conclusion?

As with many things when it comes to user experience, one size definitely does not fit all.

Your website or online service may not even have a logout confirmation page that you can use (although like the Amazon example, you should still be thinking about the power of seducible moments at other points in your customers’ journeys).

However, if you do have a secure customer area as part of your website or online service, then hopefully this post has given you some food for thought about how you might better use the logout process.

Just because your customers are about to leave doesn’t mean that the window of opportunity, or your relationship with them, has ended just yet.