Here’s a nice lesson for web app designers and developers, to help streamline the user’s progress when interacting with your application.
In many cases, it’s enough to log users in and then redirect them to the main screen of the app, where they can then choose what they want to do. It’s also good practice to send them back to whatever screen they were on before they logged in, instead of just sending them to the main screen.
But here’s a way to handle a user log-in when the user has not yet interacted with your pages, as shown below from PayPal:
PayPal’s application doesn’t let you interact with it unless you’re logged in (for obvious reasons). It’s not like a shopping cart website that let’s you browse and put stuff in your cart without being logged in. In the case of PayPal, you have to be logged in to do anything associated with your account.
So, they’ve added a simple little feature in the form of a
<select> element drop-down, that allows you to choose which area of the application you want to go to first.
I think this is a good example of something small added to the log-in process, that’s not mandatory, but helps the user get things done as quickly as possible. Of course, some might argue that it might slow down first-time users, but in a case like PayPal, I think it’s more important to focus on returning visitors who make up a huge amount of their traffic.