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I am developing a desktop app; and it is the first time I intend to publish it to the public for selling.

I have two options for pricing, and two options for managing after license expiry.

The two options for pricing are:

  1. Setting a limited time period by setting an expiration date. The app license must expire when reaching the expiration date regardless of whether the app was used or not.

  2. Setting a counter to accumulate the usage hours. The app will only expire after consuming the number of predetermined usage hours. Counting consumed usage hours is only performed when the app is running.

The two options for managing after license expiry are:

  1. Blocking the whole app after license expiry and only presenting the user with a registration dialogue for buying a new license.

  2. Blocking some features after license expiry and notifying the user of that; and provide them with an option for buying a new license to obtain full functionality.

Which is considered better in terms of user experience and user expectations, so that it doesn't leave a bad experience or impression?

If you have other options/suggestions; you are welcome ^_^

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I would go for First Option of the pricing options simply because

Cons of second option

  • I don't want the user to keep worrying about that ticking timer on his face. Most likely user will end up getting distracted.

  • If you give the user 48 hours of app usage, user might be able to manage his usage of the app in such a way that his licensce won't expire for Weeks or Months.

  • More often than not you will use his local desktop time to count usage hours, and his desktop time can be manipulated by the user.

Pros of first option

  • It is more widely used and simple to get used to.

  • It is easier to count and difficult to manipulate, resulting in lesser confusion/conflict with user.

As far as managing after license expiry is concerned, I think it is more of a CEO's decision rather than UX decision, since it related to your business goals and your buyer's (if this is B2B) business goals. I can only suggest that second one is more common and expected by the user.

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1

Regarding your question about an expired license, I would only block some features. The user already bought your license before and it would be a nice gesture to still offer them some features. Of course with the option to still buy a new license like you already mentioned.

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