As UX/UI professionals, we’re often told to “reduce clicks” to speed up the user’s workflow. 

The faster a user can accomplish their goal, the better the UX. Right?

But what happens when user testing reveals the reason users aren’t clicking the action button is not that they can’t find the button or that it’s confusing. The user doesn’t take action because they are afraid to click it.

This reminds me of the first time I used Venmo.

Over ten years ago, I needed to pay a long time business friend $1,000. He said “Just use Venmo. It’s easy.”

I trusted his advice, so I downloaded the app.

After I set up my account, these were my steps

1. Enter his email address (his face popped up as confirmation)

2. Enter the amount ($1,000)

3. Click the [pay] button

That’s it. I was done. I then thought,”Whoa…was that too easy? I hope I did it right, or this could be an expensive mistake.”

I’m sure it would have been a different experience if I had been paying a friend $10 for picking up a burrito for me. But $1000 is a lot of burritos. 

I was expecting a confirmation step to review my payment before it was sent.

We see a similar situation playing out in security products.

Often, there is a lot of “magic” going on behind the scenes of the app. This magic could secure a user’s network with the click of a button.

Awesome! Except, in our user testing sessions, the user didn’t want to click the magic button. They already had a good idea of how the magic button works. They might even agree their company would be safer if they clicked it. But they didn’t trust the “magic”.

Not because of a confusing workflow. 

Not because the button is hard to find. 

They are thinking “If I don’t get this right, this could be an expensive mistake.”

Sometimes reducing clicks means success for users. But, sometimes adding progressive engagement steps could reduce fear and give confidence. 

Our next experiment is to add more steps to the process to let the user know they are getting it right. We want them to know they can review the change before they commit to it, and that they can undo those changes.

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to good UX. And we’re not sure if adding more steps will help users “trust the magic”. But we do know how to find out. We test it, and find out what users think.

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