By timers, I mean a ticking countdown clock for time sensitive tasks, such as holding a reservation spot. Essentially "You have 3:00 minutes to complete your registration".

I've seen Eventbrite implement this and was wondering if there were any best practices or considerations in terms of usability.

This is what I have:

  1. The user selects a time slot, countdown appears near the CTA
  2. Changing time slots resets the countdown
  3. Countdown appears near the CTA in all other steps of the step-form
  4. If countdown expires before user submits the scheduling, notification appears telling them countdown expired with a CTA linking back to time slot selection step.

enter image description here

  • can you give us more context here? What else is competing for users attention on the screen? Do you have a mock with your thinking so far? – Mike M Dec 7 '18 at 17:41
  • Added more description and screenshot – Nicolas Hung Dec 7 '18 at 21:04
  • Is it a system with a high demand rate? I.e., what's the probability of the collisions? Timers are pushing users, and for Ebay this is essential, but it seems, in your case you reveal the internal system's feature to users, which is not perfect. I'd first try some more smart behavior without showing the timer explicitly. Timer will be the last solution ;) – Alexey Kolchenko Dec 8 '18 at 11:03
  • The timer is essential because the system reserves the time slot as the user selects them. So if they don't finish the booking, the time slot is released so other users can book. What sort of "smart behavior" are you referring to? – Nicolas Hung Dec 9 '18 at 5:12

There are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Label your timer in a way that the seconds are not announced for screen readers.
  • The timer is read out in a user-friendly way, like 2 minutes, 30 seconds.
  • This might just be an example, but if it's not, consider allowing more time than two and a half minutes for the user to complete an action of this type.
  • Consider moving the timer up, somewhere close to where the progress bar is. This is because on the mobile interface, the user might get busy with the choosing a time slot, and never scroll down to see the timer, as it seems to be currently below the 'fold'.
  • thank you, great recommendations! I'll implement them. – Nicolas Hung Dec 16 '18 at 13:23

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