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Password recovery for PayPal Inc

Redesign password recovery flow


Artifacts: Visit live site
Year: 2009

This was a very interesting project that has made significant impact on the customer experience and loss reduction. Back in 2009, I was looking at customer feedback and I found several feedback related to password issues.


After looking at the customer feedback, my curiosity increased and I went ahead and collected feedback of six months time period and created an affinity diagram to get a clear picture. In the affinity diagram I grouped similar problems and identified six major issues. Then, I reciewed for customer call analysis report and found many findings overlapped with my affinity diagram and also discovered few more. Teose are the users who didn't post any feedback but on the site but directly called customer service for an immediate resolution. After understanding these problems, I went ahead and created fall-out report from Site Catalyst page analysis and identified where exactly these problems were occurring in the flow, and also got a real quantitative data to support my findings. Based on these researches I approached the product team and finally a team was assigned to fix it.


Because of the security reasons I cannot explain the flow or all the pages designed for this project. But I can talk about the first landing page for password recovery. In the old flow, we had two links one for password recovery and one for email recovery. So, if you forgot your email you have to recover your email and after that if you realize that you do not remember your password, then you have to go to password recovery flow again. Furthermore, if you don't remember your street address, credit card info etc. you may not even be able to recover your email. So I thought, how about combining these two flows and make a very simple flow. So, we changed the two links (forgot password, and forgot email) to one single link i.e. "Problem with login?" and once user clicks it we took the user to a single page to first understand is the problem, If user says he forgot his password we will take the user to the new streamlined password flow, and if user says forgot email we will present three email text fields where user can enter upto three email address he uses and we will tell which one is on file. In that way it becomes very simple and straight forward.

User research

After coming up with an initial design we created a prototype for user testing. In the user testing the user research team used think-aloud usability method to evaluate the design. Based on the findings from the research we again iterated the design before going live.


As a result of this project the customer call volume decreased significantly and saved losses in revenue due to customer dropout during checkout process.