Log Out – Please take me with you

Your user has logged out (Signed Off, Logged Off, Signed Out, etc). What happens next?

Many online experiences end there. I believe that to be a missed opportunity. The page that gets displayed to the user as a result of logging out is an integral part of the online experience that your site provides.

Why has the user logged out?
A few reasons spring to mind:
1. they want to switch accounts
2. they’ve been inactive for too long and the system logged them out
3. they have finished using the site and they use a shared computer

These are just three possible reasons, but they are probably enough to draw some quick conclusions about what a good log out page may contain.

What should the logged out page be?
Regardless of the reason why the log out took place, the user should be shown a confirmation message. They need to know that their wish was granted, or that they have been logged out for some other reasons (such as their inactivity).

Facebook's logged out page

Facebook invites the user to “stay connected”

Twitter's logged out page

Twitter asks the user to get the apps

Reasons 1 and 2 above virtually require that a log in form be present on the page.

Reasons 2 and 3 can be regarded as an opportunity for reaching out to the user with an invitation to continue their interaction with your site through a more personal channel, a channel that is secure and omnipresent: the user’s mobile device!

Why not remind the user about your mobile app, or your mobile website. Tell them to take you with them by installing your app. Better still: make the most of features such as Continuity to allow the user to continue their session on their mobile device.

The rest of the content that should go on this logged out page is not so obvious. It’s not just a matter of taste, it’s also a matter of personality. You can consider the user disengaged and show them an ad. Or you may take this opportunity to strengthen your brand. You may even go all melodramatic and put a “sorry to see you go; please come back soon” message.

Whatever you decide to do, just try and think of this page as an integral part of your product. Don’t think of it as the end of the line and you may end up building an avenue for increasing engagement and retention.