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I am building a comparison shopping site for payroll processing. There are two aspects of payroll processing that differ across different providers: Tax Form Filing and Tax Payments.

For each of the two, the provider will offer one of three levels of assistance:

  • No help: You do everything on their own
  • Some help: You have to make a few clicks, but after this everything is done for you.
  • Full help: You don't have to do anything. The provider does everything for you.

So when I display the results of each of these providers, what is the best way to inform the user about the level of help for that provider?

I don't think it's a good idea to simply put the sentence for each one, like this:

===================================================================

ABC Sesame Payroll

  • Tax payments: You do everything on their own
  • Tax forms: You don't have to do anything. The provider does everything for you.

===================================================================

TTT Mr.T Payroll

  • Tax payments: You have to make a few clicks, but after this everything is done for you.
  • Tax forms: You don't have to do anything. The provider does everything for you.

===================================================================

ZZZ Sleepy Payroll

  • Tax payments: You don't have to do anything. The provider does everything for you.
  • Tax forms: You don't have to do anything. The provider does everything for you.

===================================================================

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Requests for specific icon designs are off topic - see the FAQ –  ChrisF Jun 8 '12 at 16:18

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The mockup below shows one possibility how this could be achieved: There are three different icons corresponding to the three different service levels. Their color indicates how much effort the user itself has to make.

In my interpretation, the green options are supposed to be the most attractive ones - you certainly want to convince the user to choose them, because they will achieve the most profit for your company. If my assumption is wrong, then you have to decide which configuration should be the most attractive one and maybe adapt the colors.

I intentionally did not use the color red for the option "do everything on your own". You could consider to do so - however, this could appear too negative. Use red, if you want to convey the message: "Dear user, if you really decide to choose this option, we warn you that you will have to do everything alone - we recommend to choose a better option!"

I want to show, that your design is not only supposed to make the options clear, but also to unobtrusively guide the user in the direction you want to take him with your companies goal in mind.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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I really like this idea, but would it flow better if the policy options were stacked vertically and the features ran horizontal? –  Yallow Jun 11 '12 at 20:34
    
It was based on the assumption, that in general there are (considerably) more features than policy options. Then it is easier to compare features from top to bottom --> see here: avira.com/de/for-home –  Anna Prenzel Jun 12 '12 at 17:42

I always like the use to color and text size to "nudge" a user towards a certain plan. For the most inclusive plan I would use a brighter color with a larger font. Then I would continue down the list of different plans, continuing to decrease font size with a bit less popping color.

enter image description here

Obviously don't use these colors, but I think you get the idea of what I'm getting at.

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Are the 3 services tiered differently? i.e Do I pay more for the last service (sleepy payroll)

  1. It can be categorised in Basic, Medium and Advance services.
  2. Which can further be explained visually in Tabular fashion. Service (Basic, Medium, Advance) Vs Features for both forms (Tax payments/Tax forms)
  3. Call to action could be in front of each service/feature combination

Example of tabular information from Linkedin .... http://www.linkedin.com/mnyfe/subscriptionv2?displayProducts=&trk=home_level

(sorry I am new user, can not upload screenshot)

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