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I'm working on an interesting design challenge for an online advertising platform, and this part of the project is stumping me.

The basic concept of the current flow is that users can purchase a "spot" as part of a group of people. Then, they can checkout and get to the next step. Here is what the current page looks like: enter image description here

My idea is to break this into 2 steps: first, the user purchases a spot as part of the group advertisement. Next, they can select an item. This is because the items they will be selecting will be inside of a bigger list, and the dropdown is not a great option for displaying all that information.

My question is regarding the usability of selecting a spot. Some of the spots will already be claimed by other users. Is it correct to show the spots that have been claimed in addition to the available spots? The purchase price is the same for all spots.

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You can omit the claimed spots to reduce visual clutter, but use the Scarcity principle to induce action.

Assuming the product (and offer) is ethical, this can help focus users towards a decision.

It seems like the spot #s are not too significant, other than the idea that there were (in your case) 6 spots, now there are 2.

You can use some visuals, and indicate that there's only 'x amount' left.

This can remove visual clutter and show only selectable items, while giving them info about how many are left (and they may go fast):

enter image description here

From Nielsen Norman, on when to use scarcity:

Expediting Desirable Actions: If you find that most people who convert on your site visit your site more times than you think should be necessary before converting, you might try using scarcity to reduce that time lag

You can try both approaches, and test, but if you're trying to focus user actions, it might be worth reducing excess UI, and see if a scarcity message (you can use messages that emphasize scarce supply, how quickly spots are going in the last x time) combined with showing only clickable elements both gets them through faster, and perhaps increases conversions over time.

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Answer

I wouldn't normally post an answer just to say "I agree", but as there are other answers that are trying to lead you away from your current design, I think it's worth an answer.

I think your current design is great as it stands. Allowing the users to see the layout of the available/claimed spots allows the user to easily visual exactly where their advert will appear in relation to other adverts.


Optional Consideration

I would also consider using the layout on all your wizard pages too. So when they are on page 2 and are selecting their item, it can show something like this:

enter image description here

That way it acts like a "builder" type of wizard, and removes any doubt what the user is actually purchasing.

If possible, on the final "summary" page of the wizard, you could show the exact image that will be used. So they can see the final expected result before purchasing. Basically a "preview" page.

Doing this will be useful in helping to avoid claims from a customer saying "I bought spot X, but it didn't appear where I thought it was going to appear" - with this, they have no argument.

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I don't see any inconvenience in showing the other spots, but I would do it in a separate field from the one purchased.

Reading the question I see the system very similar to the list of "Costumers also bought" used by Amazon. In this case the field title will be "Other available spots".

enter image description here

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