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?

  • So when do you actually validate if the call went through?
    – Mervin
    Mar 22, 2012 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. Mar 22, 2012 at 2:17
  • 1
    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, 2012 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. Mar 22, 2012 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, 2012 at 13:11

2 Answers 2


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.


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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.