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The "Delete account" option in our product is really just a unsubscribe from the service option - the user is still able to login to the system but no longer has access to the actual service.

My question is: What should happen once the user selects 'delete account'?

  1. Show a message that their account was deleted?
  2. Logout the user immediately?
  3. The screen that hosts the "Remove account" option changes so that there is no longer an option to delete account and a message is displayed that the account was deleted?
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3. If you're not deleting things, don't say you're deleting things.

But this begs the question: why can't people delete their account? This is terribly user-unfriendly in and of itself. Having a 'roach motel' where it's very difficult to unsubscribe or delete your account is bad enough... but making it impossible?

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If you have the creative authority to rename that option. You could simply rename it to Unsubscribe.

You could also use Facebook's alternative to naming the option as Deactivate Account. Where in, your account is inactive but can be reactivated by logging in.

In the case you do not have the creative authority to rename that option, a simple message saying:

Deleting your account will only unsubscribe you from our services. You will still be able to login and [insert what's still available to do after unsubscribing].

After this message it will be necessary to log them out. If needed they can always log back in and perform the remaining things one can do after "deletion".

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As a user if I'm choosing to delete my account I'm expecting to do just that.

If in the service I had saved various projects with info in each, pictures, attachments etc. Then I'm expecting that these would be deleted.

This does present a bit of a weird UX scenario as you really want to show the user a clear confirmation that the action took place but there isn't a "real" user account to display it in.

My recommendation is to keep the user logged in and show them an "account deleted" screen listing what happened:

Deleting Account

  • 12 collaboration contacts deleted
  • 4 integration plugins deleted
  • 17 projects deleted
  • done

All of your account data has been deleted. Your account login will be deleted automatically when you logout.

[Logout Button]

Behind the scenes all of the stuff attached to the account is actually deleted and the account is flagged as "dead". After the user logs out delete the login profile too. In case the user does nothing, i'd also hook up an event in your systems background tasks too to remove the login profile at a time period equal to your default session timeout.

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