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We have an iOS app that lets user post and share content. An admin can block certain users. Once a user is blocked the content they have posted will not be visible to anyone else. Additionally, we are considering not letting such users post any new content as long as they are blocked. I can think of following two ways of implementing the UX when a blocked user tries to post new content:

  • User posts content and then receives an alert saying that their request could not be completed because there was a problem with their account and they should contact the administrator to resolve this issue.
  • The UI elements that let user post content are disabled and overlaid with text that says that there is a problem withe their account and they should contact the administrator to resolve this issue.

I can't decide between the two. What is your opinion?

  • Is there a reason to let the blocked user create posts? Will they be saved and posted when the user is unblocked? – Ken Mohnkern Feb 18 '14 at 17:52
  • Hadn't thought of that yet. Good point! – septerr Feb 18 '14 at 18:51
  • I think it depends on why you are blocking them. Are they blocked for being "trolls"? Consider letting them continue to post without informing them that other users can't see their posts - they will continue to provide further evidence of their true behavior. If it was a one-time mistake, your admin could quietly unblock them. If it's a consistent pattern, leave them blocked, and you'll have evidence to provide to authorities if their behavior remains abusive. – John Deters Feb 18 '14 at 19:29
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    @septerr, my point was that, if there's no reason to let blocked users create posts, then your answer's obvious. – Ken Mohnkern Feb 18 '14 at 20:04
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My recommendation would be to go for the second option of disabling the option of even posting content and informing him that there is a problem with his account as that informs the user that there is a restriction on his account which must be resolved before he can continue to post content

Paypal does this with an message which says that they have limited access to the users account until he performs specific steps as shown below

enter image description here

That said, make it very easy for the user to contact the administrator (like the example above) so that the user knows exactly what his next step should be.

The problem with the first approach is that if you allow the user to post content and refuse him at the last minute, you are going to frustrate him as he might have spent a lot of time writing down the content and to be denied at the last minute would be frustrating.Also as Ken rightly pointed out, unless you have a mechanism to save the posts for the blocked user until unblocking, how can the user ensure that his content has been saved for publishing once his account is restored.

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