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For a checkout page progress tracker, if the first step is login/register, is it considered bad practice to skip to step 2 (because the user is already logged in when they get to checkout)?

Would it be better to remove the "step 1 login/register" from the progress tracker, if you detect that the user is already logged in when they get to the checkout page?

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The best practice would be to move registration to the end of the checkout process and make it optional. Then it wouldn't be part of the progress tracker at all. See Should registration be optional on an e-commerce site?

  • The registration/login is a required step. The purchase is for a premium account, where the user must be logged in in order for the purchase to be linked to his/her account. – mrl Aug 11 '14 at 22:11
  • Generally this would follow an upgrade/downgrade paradigm, not a checkout paradigm. In either case, login as a step does not make sense to me, though I do not know enough about your situation to provide examples or data backing up my opinion. – Stan Aug 12 '14 at 23:27
  • Guess I'm using the "checkout" term somewhat loosely; the user is upgrading their account, but they must go through steps similar to a checkout (login/register, payment info). Also, if the user is not logged in, how can you associate their purchase for a premium account, with their current account? – mrl Aug 12 '14 at 23:34
  • Can you provide a user story of a user who has an account upgrading from a logged out state? What would drive them to upgrade if they are not logged in? – Stan Aug 12 '14 at 23:45
  • Sure can! The user lands on the overview page, which outlines the details and benefits about the premium accounts (part of a fund-raiser promotion). This page can be viewed by anyone (most of the site can be viewed without logging in as well, except for certain areas/actions). The user can then click the "purchase" button to get a premium account. Here, they are either prompted to login/register if they aren't already logged in. Then, they enter payment information and complete the purchase. – mrl Aug 13 '14 at 2:21
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If a user must login/register in order to make a purchase then there is no need to collect anything from them until they are logged in.

If they are already logged in then there is no need to even show a login step so I would remove Step 1.

The best UI is no UI.

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No, it is not bad practice. I think that reverse is true. Your customer will be motivated. You will make him feel like he is getting done with the thing faster.

Take a look at Goal gradient effect

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