Design

Deleting Your Account

Feb 15, 2015

This weekend, I wrapped up a “feature” that’s been at the top of my list for a while—deleting your account. It’s not an exciting feature, but certainly a necessity and one that’s very important to me. We owe it to our users to put them in complete control of their data. If they no longer want any of their data in your database, they should be able to easily delete it—not just abandon it.

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I recently tweeted about a few prerequisites I believe each app developer should build into their app before launching. I knew others felt the same, but I didn’t realize it would become my most favorited and most retweeted tweet. It’s a sign that people really care about these aspects of an app, even if they’re not the killer features one would spotlight on the product page.

The ability to delete your account is especially important to me because I’ve come across so many web services that simply don’t allow it—even ones with millions of users and thousands of employees. There’s absolutely no excuse not to build support for it. In my eyes, it should be a legal requirement for anyone putting an app into the world. We’re so quick to build apps, scale them, and strive to reach exponential growth that we act like it’s a complete waste of time to spend two or three days building these features.

In Cushion, I built the initial phase of a two-part plan for deleting your account. With the first beta accounts expiring soon, I needed the bare minimum in place, in case anyone wanted to call it quits. For beta users, this means simply deleting their data upon request.

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Within the app, the user would click a link to delete their account. This opens a modal with an explanation of what deletion entails, emphasizing the seriousness of the request—in case users simply want to cancel their subscription. The modal also suggests downloading a backup beforehand.

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I followed Github’s model for confirmation by requiring users to type their email address to enable the delete button. With the past several apps I’ve built, I can’t tell you how many users “accidentally” deleted their account or deleted it assuming they could return a month later and just restore it. This also clarifies which account is being deleted, in case the user has more than one. I want the user to be fully aware that they are about to delete their account.

Upon clicking the delete button, the user’s subscription is cancelled, if one exists, and their data is deleted. That’s phase one.

The plan for phase two is to provide the most thorough experience for deleting an account, covering all angles of what may potentially happen next. In case the user forgets to download a backup, the user’s data will automatically be emailed to them upon deleting their account. If they ever attempt to log into their account again, they will find a list of downloadable receipts from Cushion charges. And, for the inevitable user wanting to restore their account shortly after deleting it, accounts will be put it in a queue to be deleted 30 days later after the request. Within those 30 days, a user can restore the account and be back to using it in no time.

So far, I’m happy with the first step, but look forward to building the full package. It does feel strange investing this much time in the experience of someone leaving, but I refuse to skimp on any aspect of Cushion.

The beta is still going strong, so if you’re interested in participating, even just to test out deleting your account, be sure to request an invite.

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Archive

  1. Restructuring an Evolving App: Part 1
    Design
  2. My Typical Week as a Startup Founder
    Story
  3. Building Components in a Sandbox
    Dev
  4. Reactive Time with Vue.js
    Dev
  5. Visualizing Daylight Saving Time
    Dev
  6. Recording Screencast GIFs
    Dev
  7. Writing a Job Listing
    Story
  8. Using Feature Flags to Run Betas
    Dev
  9. Our First Company Lunch
    Story
  10. How to embed Vue.js & Vuex inside an AngularJS app... wait what?
    Dev
  11. Funding Cushion
    Story
  12. Hiring a Team of Freelancers
    Story
  13. Taking a Real Break From Work
    Story
  14. Slack as a Notification Center
    Dev
  15. Document Your Features
    Story
  16. 300
    Story
  17. Vacations
    Design
  18. Offering Discounts
    Design
  19. Waves of Traffic
    Story
  20. Less Blogging, More Journaling
    Story
  21. Retention Through Useful Features
    Design
  22. The Onboarding Checklist
    Design
  23. Spreading the Word
    Story
  24. From Beta to Launch - The Subdomain
    Dev
  25. From Beta to Launch - Sign up
    Design
  26. From Beta to Launch - Messaging
    Design
  27. Launch
    Story
  28. Authenticating with 3rd Party Services
    Dev
  29. Intro to Integrations
    Design
  30. Inspiration vs Imitation
    Story
  31. The Emotional Rollercoaster
    Story
  32. Designing Project Blocks
    Design
  33. Everything in Increments
    Story
  34. Deleting Your Account
    Design
  35. Designing the Subscription Page
    Design
  36. Rewriting the Timeline
    Dev
  37. Restructuring the Individual Project Page
    Design
  38. Project Blocks
    Story
  39. Redesigning the Homepage
    Design
  40. Multiple Timelines
    Design
  41. Archiving and Estimate Differences
    Design
  42. Multiple Financial Goals
    Design
  43. Zooming in on the Timeline
    Design
  44. Currency
    Dev
  45. Preferences, Accounts, and a Typeface Change
    Design
  46. Sending Out the First Email
    Story
  47. Currency Inputs, Notifications, and Invoice Nets
    Design
  48. Dots and Lines
    Design
  49. Calculating in the Database and Revealing Tendencies
    Dev
  50. Improved Form UX
    Design
  51. Cushion is Online
    Story
  52. Schedule Timeline Patterns
    Design
  53. A Slimmer Schedule Timeline
    Design
  54. The Schedule Timeline
    Design
  55. Plugging in Real Data for the First Time
    Design
  56. Transitions and Project Lists
    Design
  57. Death to Modals
    Design
  58. The Individual Project Page
    Design
  59. Estimated Incomes and Talks with Other Freelancers
    Story
  60. Statuses to Lists and the Paid Beta
    Story
  61. The Timeline
    Story
  62. Invoice Terminology
    Dev
  63. Modal Forms
    Dev
  64. Wiring the Backend to the Frontend
    Dev
  65. Balancing Design and Dev
    Story
  66. Timecop, Monocle, and Vagrant
    Dev
  67. Going with Ruby and Sinatra
    Dev
  68. Ditching local-first and trying out Node.js
    Dev
  69. Switching to AngularJS
    Dev
  70. Building the Table with Vue.js
    Dev
  71. Clients, Projects, and Invoices
    Dev
  72. Introduction
    Story

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