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

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