we have a coupon that must be downloaded and filled out.

In mobile which user flow is better experience:

OPTION A: CTA says 'Get Coupon Here' upon click user goes directly to the pdf (in an html frame)

OPTION B: CTA 'Get Coupon Here' upon click user deeplinks to 'offers' page on site to find and click 'Download Coupon' button then to pdf (in html frame)

Good to know: 1. They'll have to know how to save, no instructions given either flow. 2. file can not be filled out online. It must be printed and filled by hand. (for near term, we're working on this.)

  • I think there's some information missing to actually give sensible input. Perhaps you tell us how one got there? Was it through some sort of "product page" or a coupon landing page? In which case, why go to another 'offers' page, wich would probably turn people away instead. Another question, why do you want to frame the PDF? Wouldn't it make more sense to download the PDF automatically after clicking the 'Get Coupon Here' CTA; in the following page (so while downloading the PDF) you could explain to the user what they need to do with the PDF e.g. "send us back the filled in form.....etc."
    – Xabre
    Aug 19, 2015 at 18:21
  • These two workflows are the final steps in a variety of workflows - email, digital banner, in-game mobile ad unit, etc.
    – Debbie
    Aug 19, 2015 at 18:33
  • We framed the pdf in an html container for tracking purposes. We want to know how many people went there.
    – Debbie
    Aug 19, 2015 at 18:33
  • Can't you just track how many times the file has been downloaded instead? (just by counting the clicks or just through a proxy script that counts the finished downloads)
    – Xabre
    Aug 19, 2015 at 18:55
  • 2
    The problem is assuming pdfs should be a part of a mobile workflow in the first place.
    – DA01
    Aug 19, 2015 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


The first thing that came to mind was the phrase "the lesser of two evils".

In developing an application with a UX mindset, it's almost always best to reduce the friction between the user and the interface. In this case, using the link "Get Coupon Here" to link to another page that actually provides the link to the user is introducing this friction, causing the user annoyance and possibly causing them to lose interest.

A button should always perform the action that you associate with the button. If your button says "Get Coupon Here", that's exactly where the button should lead with immediacy.

The Lesser of Two Evils

The reason this first jumped into my mind was that this whole approach seems to be flawed from the start. With a focus on mobile devices, the last thing that should ever happen is forcing the user to print out and fill out a form by hand. This completely destroys the convenience of using the mobile device.

The biggest suggestion I could make is that you remove that requirement entirely, and if the user needs to fill out data, let them do it with a form on the device.

  • Thanks Jon, you've nailed the situation. It is "lesser of two evils" at this point. I've inherited this site and mobile coupon program is one of my top 2016 projects. In the meantime, we're trying to be as friction less as possible.
    – Debbie
    Aug 19, 2015 at 18:59

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