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I am working on the flow for password recovery and can't determine where to redirect the user once an email has been sent to help them complete the process. They enter their email address on this page to receive an email to assist them: enter image description here

I then want to show them a message stating that an email has been sent. I initially thought about showing them a log in screen like this. But it seems kind of silly to send them to a login form when they're going to immediately go to their email to click a link that will change their password and send them on their way.

enter image description here

So I thought maybe I'd just show the message on the same screen they were on but that kind of feels like the action still isn't complete since they're seeing their name in the field. If I take their name out of the field it seems as if the form hasn't been filled out, even with the confirmation message.

enter image description here

My current decision is to just show the confirmation message on the page and leave it at that. While it serves the purpose, it's not really useful beyond that.

enter image description here

I was thinking I could show the message and redirect them to the homepage but that's unexpected behavior and if they get sidetracked while the message is displayed and look back after the page has been redirected they'll be confused.

Honestly, I don't think this page matters too much outside of making sure they see the confirmation message so it may not warrant this much thought. But:

1. What is the norm for this type of flow?

2. What is the average user's expectations through this flow since it's so common on all sites?

3. What do users normally do with a tab that they abandon to complete their goal elsewhere?

4. Which one of these designs will meet their expectations?

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  1. What is the norm for this type of flow?
    If we could define a norm from a business and user's experience perspective, then it would be something like "Help the user to open his/her password recovery email". This means not to distract him with anything else and guide him/her (more on this, below on wireframe).

  2. What is the average user's expectations through this flow since it's so common on all sites?
    This would need some user research, on existing mental models. For example if you have data about other favorite sites of your users, then you could follow their flow (but I wouldn't suggest it.)

  3. What do users normally do with a tab that they abandon to complete their goal elsewhere?
    While I can't answer directly this question I would suggest changing the the title of the browser to something like "sent recovery at alice@bob.com". What I'd like to mention is that you have to create a strong open task, also know as zeigarnik effect.

  4. Which one of these designs will meet their expectations?

I suggest to go with the last one, but also have

  • A clear call to action
  • An open task statement and
  • Changing the title of tab on switch

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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