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Guests to our site are able to favorite items and see a list of items they favorited on their account page. However, we are planning to temporarily hide this favorite page in their account page for business and development reasons.

Of course we don't want to just hide it and pretend nothing has happened. So what's the most user friendly way to inform users that a feature is temporarily going away on the interface?

If you could provide examples of how reputable sites handle this that would be much appreciated as well.

  • Why not just send them to a page that says this feature temporarily unavailable. With a cute little man with a shovel for working on it. – paparazzo Oct 6 '14 at 18:10
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If this were me then I would follow the action plan below:

  • Assuming you have their email, inform users via email that the feature will temporarily be going away

    • Make sure to include a start date at minimum and an end date if possible
  • Wherever this feature is, make sure to place a noticeable banner stating that the feature will temporarily be unavailable

    • You definitely want to make this prominent because it is immediately useful to the user unlike a survey that is pushed in your face with some websites.
  • Once the feature reaches the unavailability period then make sure that they can still access the page/widget but place a message about it's temporary unavailability.

You want to hold the user's hand throughout the entire process because you've already earned their trust in your product/feature and now it's time to act appropriately and maintain their trust through this process of change because people DO NOT like change.

I have done banking through Chase and used their online portal extensively. Regularly, they schedule maintenance and I am informed once I log in, they do not email me actually. A big, yellow, boxed message reads "ATTENTION: Service will be down for maintenance on Sunday, October 12th from 8am to 9pm EST. We apologize for the inconvenience."

I never checked but I think their login page will display that message as well if I were to visit on the maintenance day.

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    +1 for notification when user log in. I think that's a good idea and not as intrusive as email (i never read maintenance emails). – Chairman Meow Oct 6 '14 at 18:15

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