We have a selection of elearning courses available on a website I'm managing, historically these courses have been free for everyone to access. However we're now having to restrict free access to NHS staff, NHS partners and university students. Everyone else will need to access them via a paid link.

Clearly I dont know who the visitors to our website are so I'm reliant on them clicking the one of two buttons that reflects the group they belong. How best could I communicate this?

Perhaps something like this? enter image description here The one button would take them to the system that recognises their email address to provides free access. The other would take them to the commercial platform that takes payment.

Any thoughts?

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    Could you clarify? How are they identified? Do they have a user? A key? – LNubiola Sep 8 '17 at 11:05
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    Wouldn't a traditional "Login/register" system work? (If not, why not?). If a user registers with a "recognised" email address (or by providing necessary credentials) they get free access; if not, they have to make payment to get access? – TripeHound Sep 8 '17 at 12:09
  • @LNubiola They have to self identify as a free access user. If they do they click the Free access button that would allow them to either register (using their email address with recognised domains) or sign in. If they dont self identify to one of the free groups they click the other button and would again either log in or register (they can use any email address for this) – Johntyb Sep 8 '17 at 12:30
  • @TripeHound Unfortunately the platform for NHS/Partner/Uni access is not the same as the one for paid access. The buttons are to be on a landing page to direct people to the correct platform. – Johntyb Sep 8 '17 at 12:34
  • If the landing page has the "typical" sign-in / register options, then after signing-in (or registering) won't you now know which type of user they are, and so can take them to the appropriate "platform"? – TripeHound Sep 8 '17 at 12:38

Given the clarification in the comments – that you have two separate (un-modifiable) "portals" that you need to direct visitors to, then – yes, something along the lines you're suggesting is probably the only way to go; maybe something like:


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Storing a cookie to remember a user's choice (as I originally suggested in comments) is probably no longer appropriate:

  • You expect users will store/bookmark the appropriate platform's page once they've registered (so they won't normally be coming back here anyway).

  • If you have no control over the separate portal pages, you won't be able to add a "Choose Again" link for cases where they picked the wrong option.

  • Thanks for this, much appreciated. Would you consider it necessary to wrap each button in its respective box? – Johntyb Sep 8 '17 at 13:29
  • @Johntyb Probably either way could work. With the buttons outside, as I did, there's a sense (at least to me) of "if this applies ... click this button" where you can keep the buttons "clearly looking like buttons". If you were to move the buttons inside the boxes, then it might also make sense to make the whole box clickable (in which case you probably don't really need separate buttons). The potential danger there is that the "boxes of text" may not be as obviously clickable as more "normal" looking buttons. – TripeHound Sep 8 '17 at 13:40
  • Ahh ok, makes sense. – Johntyb Sep 8 '17 at 13:43

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