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I'm working on an iOS user setup guide for an enterprise app. The current process to install and configure the app is as follows:

  1. User receives three text messages:
    • one with an itms-apps://... link to find the app in the store
    • a second with a link that will load the app with information prepopulated in one of the app signup fields
    • and a third with a PIN that they then have to either copy/paste or type in. (also sent by email)
  2. User opens Messages app and taps on first link, which opens the app store.
  3. User installs the app.
  4. User returns to Messages app and taps on second link.
  5. New app opens with a field prepopulated (always the same value). User taps Next.
  6. User returns to Messages app and notes or copies a PIN.
  7. User returns to the new app and either types in or pastes the PIN.
  8. ...

Would it be preferable to provide a guide where the steps are lined out linearly, and have the user do a little more manual typing? Something like:

  1. User goes to Messages and/or Mail and retrieves PIN.
  2. User opens App Store and searces for new app. User installs it.
  3. User opens app. User enters value 'x' (provided in the doc since it's always the same value). User taps Next.
  4. User returns to new app and enters PIN.
  5. ...

Advantages I can see to my proposition:

  • Closer to the typical app installing process users are accustomed to on an iOS device.
  • Less chance of losing more junior user during app swapping steps.
  • No messy messages with gobblygook URLs (this advantage is maybe subjective, but a long URL with hash code parameters is not very intuitive to me)

Disadvantages:

  • More typing required.
  • (Any others I'm missing? I'd welcome your feedback.)
  • Do you have some reason that there are 3 separate texts? – Franchesca Jul 16 '14 at 11:17
  • @Franchesca This is a system default. I'm supposing that perhaps all the text and links wouldn't fit in one SMS. That being said, I'm comfortable with recommending they turn the functionality off and communicate manually with the user once their account is set up, if those are the only two options. (This is a case of implementing an off-the-shelf enterprise solution, so I'm well past the design phase.) :( – Tim FitzGerald Jul 16 '14 at 12:22
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You could have a text message containing the pin, and a link to a web page (with a tinyURL so it doesn't look messy).

The web page can then contain the full installation guide, including relevant links to the app store.

  • This is a great idea. One challenge I didn't identify in my question is that my documentation will sit behind the enterprise firewall, and so won't be accessible from the mobile phone. But otherwise this is an elegant approach. Thanks! – Tim FitzGerald Jul 16 '14 at 20:01

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