When customers try to use your service and fail, they might go and look for the instructions, double check that everything is in order, and try again and again until they finally succeed.
Research into the psychology of failure, however, has shown that given the option, many will choose to opt out.
In a classical experiment1, individuals were given a task which was unsolvable. They had to try it and experience failure, much like the lay user trying to carry out a complicated task on a website. Afterwards, they were given another, much easier task, of deciphering anagrams. Half of them had the option to opt out, and not complete the task, and the others just had to complete it. Both of these were measured against control subjects who did not experience failure.
The results were clear: those that had to finish the task, no matter what, performed as well as controls. They had to do the task, no matter what, and they did it. On the other hand, many of those who had a chance to opt-out, did, and even those who did not opt-out, performed much worse than controls.
The lesson from this study is clear: individuals who experience failure will tend to opt out so as not to experience it again.
You want the users to have a positive, constructive experience with your SaaS application or website from the moment they enter.
Help your users succeed – Iridize!
1. Miller, A. Performance impairment after failure: Mechanism and sex differences. Journal of Educational Psychology 78, 486–491 (1986).