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On our website, users can type in their phone number to verify it. We initiate the call and pop up a verification code on the screen. However the dialog box stays up indefinitely, until the user closes the box. This leads to a frustrating user experience as people don't think their number was verified, because the screen hasn't updated.

For technical and political reasons I cannot continually poll the server in the background to determine if the call succeeded or failed, and update the UI accordingly. I can poll the server only one time to check the status.

Is there another way I can indicate on the screen the success or failure of the call?

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So when do you actually validate if the call went through? –  Mervin Johnsingh Mar 22 '12 at 1:36
    
The user sends DTMF tones on their phone back to us with the code we show on the screen and we write to our database if the code is correct. –  Kevin Burke Mar 22 '12 at 2:17
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could you communicate the code via the phone call, and then get the user to submit the code thus closing the box? And if the user has not answered after x seconds, assume the call failed and close the box? –  Jon White Mar 22 '12 at 3:07
    
Could you post a screenshot of the dialog that you show. Maybe a graphical adaptation would be enough to make it clear for a user that he needs to close that dialog. –  Bart Gijssens Mar 22 '12 at 12:33
    
Is the dialog box showing up on their screen or their phone? If it's desktop (or even mobile) why is a simple AJAX poll not available? You have to check outside data unless you want to just fake "success" and close the dialog after a certain period of time –  Ben Brocka Mar 22 '12 at 13:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Don't express it as a close box for the popup (or not solely that). Instead, have a button labeled “I’ve received the call”, which then causes the sole status check.

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You can improve the experience described here by avoiding the popup (display what you need directly in a page). Introduce a "Re-check" button that the user can press to check the status. I've seen this kind of verification form with some other occasions and I find it easy and intuitive for the user and easy to implement also.

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