I've got a use case where the user wants to get a price based on a specific number of units as opposed to a typical straight cost/sale scenario. The backend manages the number crunching/heavy lifting based on a dynamic set of variables in order to deliver a single price back to the user.

In this scenario pricing decreases based on the number of units sought. The user typically requires a specific number of units and there's not a lot of common ground in terms of average units required across the customer base.

The idea here is to deliver the most relevant price to the user and provide a personalised experience that better suits their own use case - they need a unique number of units and a price for that amount, not a from - to amount.

An alternative is to provide a cost matrix, however that seems kind of primitive. There are also conversion factors at play that could be influenced by analysis paralysis etc.

Here are our early ideas. I wanted to get some feedback on what you make of it and given the use case detailed above, what you'd do differently.

Standard State executed state error state

Here are the challenges as I see them:

  • Provide an intuitive way for a user to get a per unit price
  • Make that pricing information easy to understand and act on;
  • Funnel price into a conversion event that makes sense to the user and can be acted on.
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Why not inform your customer directly about the price spans and reductions he gets when increasing the order quantity? This was always the first thing I asked our reseller on the phone during my apprenticeship.

I sketched an idea and wireframed it in Axure here.

My idea was to

  • show the customer when he gets reductions at what quantity
  • visualize the quantity
  • try to avoid a calculate-button
  • prevent the customer from errors when entering a wrong quantity number
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  • Thanks! The idea around cost saving at higher volume is genius (slight embarrassed it didn't come out during out ideation or research). Agreed that the calculate button has to go. Another idea was to have price auto update. – AdamJay Nov 13 '13 at 9:22
  • I'm not so sure about the slider. In many use cases, the customer knows exactly how many they want before they get to that control. A slider makes it easy to get to within a certain range, but hard to get to a specific number. i.e. I have 120 tables, I want 120 tablecloths. The slider makes it easy to get "somewhere between 118 and 122" tablecloths, but fiddly to get exactly 120. There isn't an obvious place there to just type a number in, even though that's the easiest way to enter a specific number (it really isn't clear what the slider would do if I manually typed 120 into the box). – Racheet Dec 13 '13 at 10:37
  • @Racheet Since the slider is more obvious than the input field (I deliberately let away buttons with it) users will start to fiddle around with the slider first. Then they will see that the number on the slider changes and then they will notice that they can manually change the number. If you entered 120 the slider would jump to 120. My intention was to visualize the input. Did I understand your concern? What is your idea? – uxfelix Dec 13 '13 at 10:50
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    My concern as more than the slider affords sliding, and sliding is a really fiddly interaction when you want to get only a specific number, rather than one of a group of nearby numbers. I just think it would be slightly less comfortable to use than just typing the number in. – Racheet Dec 13 '13 at 11:19

How about not requiring another button to calculate but changing on typing via Javascript etc. Its one step less for the user to take and simpler.

Also one of my all time favorite pricing solutions: http://mailchimp.com/pricing/b/growing-business/

You could also show right or left (depending on screen size) the better options, so if you take 100 units more you will save 20$ etc. to get more out of the deal.

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