Need advice: the login form that did signups

5 Jan 2008 - 11:19am
6 years ago
6 replies
736 reads
Vlad Fratila
2007

Hi and thanks in advance for the replies.

I decided I don't want anything from the user at signup. Well, except
an email, a password and possibly a captcha to skip the email
validation.
I want my login form to do signup as well.

When the user presses submit, if the email is not in the db, I tell
him to enter the captcha and, after a second submit, i present him
with his dashboard.
There is of course a use case for users that forgot their account data.

What do you think about this when comparing with the classic login
form + additional "new account" button? And ... is it viable for
signups that require additional data (to be presented in the 2nd step,
with the captcha).

Vlad Fratila

Comments

5 Jan 2008 - 2:06pm
.pauric
2006

So, its sounds like you might have to be very careful with the
labeling of the dual use text entries.

If I was a new user and saw just a username/password[login] form I'd
probably start hunting for a new user function. Give up and then take
a wild guess that the designer was being clever. Its a bit of a leap
of faith though.

You could keep the single button but put something beside it for new
users.. e.g. [login] (new users sign in here too!)

and in the case of 'There is of course a use case for users that
forgot their account data.' you need as a minimum their email
address. If the password fails, the 2nd page can present a recovery
option.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=24205

7 Jan 2008 - 3:17pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

Hi Vlad,

I just published an article about Account Sign-In Mistakes:
http://www.uie.com/articles/account_design_mistakes/
(Subsequent comments here: http://tinyurl.com/2rzqsu )

My thoughts about your design below:

On Jan 5, 2008, at 11:19 AM, Vlad Fratila wrote:

> I decided I don't want anything from the user at signup. Well, except
> an email, a password and possibly a captcha to skip the email
> validation.

That's good. We've found the less you ask when people they initially
sign up, the better.

> I want my login form to do signup as well.
>
> When the user presses submit, if the email is not in the db, I tell
> him to enter the captcha and, after a second submit, i present him
> with his dashboard.
> There is of course a use case for users that forgot their account
> data.
>
> What do you think about this when comparing with the classic login
> form + additional "new account" button? And ... is it viable for
> signups that require additional data (to be presented in the 2nd step,
> with the captcha).

I think this may not be such a good idea. I've seen this done before
and it hasn't performed well.

What I'm betting you'll find when you conduct user tests (I know,
user tests are *so* old school) is you'll need a lot of explanation
to (1) get the users to put an email address into a box without an
accompanying password and (b) understand that's how they sign up.

Depending what the site is and the benefits of account creation, this
additional persuasive copy would need to be on top of whatever other
copy is there to promote account creation in the first place.

Having the traditional two functions takes more real estate, but
there have been many examples of nicely designed sign-in and account
creation functions. I suggest you look to them for inspiration.

Hope that helps,

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks

7 Jan 2008 - 6:42pm
Vlad Fratila
2007

Hi Jared, thanks for the answer.

I read your article a few days ago. I'm proud that I was aware of the
keypoints from before :) Very good article.

Although I chose not to do it my way, there are some things that make
this case a bit interesting.

> you'll need a lot of explanation to (1) get the users to put an email address
> into a box without an accompanying password and (b) understand that's how
> they sign up.

target audience = programmers.
(1) i want them to supply the password in the first step, really.
these kind of users don't make typing mistakes. And, even if they do,
I'll mail them their password in the follow-up email (in my oppinion,
that is required anyway, after any signup process).
(b) i'm sure they'll get it

> additional persuasive copy would need to be on top of whatever other copy
> is there to promote account creation in the first place.

there is no marketing copy. Yes there is, product features, and they
are somewhere else. + you could use this design:

username field
pass field
(to the left)Need a new account? Use this form and see what
happens..........(to the right) Sign in

I think I am going to try this after all, see how it works out.

PS. You know, this should work really well with OpenID :)

7 Jan 2008 - 7:25pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

As with everything, it doesn't matter what the research of other
sites says. It only matters how your users respond to the design. So,
go ahead and try it. Let us know how it works out.

Jared

On Jan 7, 2008, at 6:42 PM, Vlad Fratila wrote:

> Hi Jared, thanks for the answer.
>
> I read your article a few days ago. I'm proud that I was aware of the
> keypoints from before :) Very good article.
>
> Although I chose not to do it my way, there are some things that make
> this case a bit interesting.
>
>> you'll need a lot of explanation to (1) get the users to put an
>> email address
>> into a box without an accompanying password and (b) understand
>> that's how
>> they sign up.
>
> target audience = programmers.
> (1) i want them to supply the password in the first step, really.
> these kind of users don't make typing mistakes. And, even if they do,
> I'll mail them their password in the follow-up email (in my oppinion,
> that is required anyway, after any signup process).
> (b) i'm sure they'll get it
>
>
>> additional persuasive copy would need to be on top of whatever
>> other copy
>> is there to promote account creation in the first place.
>
> there is no marketing copy. Yes there is, product features, and they
> are somewhere else. + you could use this design:
>
> username field
> pass field
> (to the left)Need a new account? Use this form and see what
> happens..........(to the right) Sign in
>
> I think I am going to try this after all, see how it works out.
>
> PS. You know, this should work really well with OpenID :)

8 Jan 2008 - 5:50am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 7 Jan 2008, at 23:42, Vlad Fratila wrote:
[snip]
> target audience = programmers.
> (1) i want them to supply the password in the first step, really.
> these kind of users don't make typing mistakes. And, even if they do,
> I'll mail them their password in the follow-up email (in my oppinion,
> that is required anyway, after any signup process).
[snip]

If your target audience is developers than I can almost guarantee
that they'll complain if you e-mail them their password because:
a) e-mail is an insecure transport mechanism for passwords
b) it shows that you're storing the password in plain text rather
than a password hash, which means that evil folk who hack your
database can find out the passwords for everybody

Just so y'know :-)

Adrian

8 Jan 2008 - 11:19am
Todd Warfel
2003

If they don't making typing mistakes in the first place, then why are
you emailing them their password?

On Jan 8, 2008, at 5:50 AM, Adrian Howard wrote:

> If your target audience is developers than I can almost guarantee
> that they'll complain if you e-mail them their password because:
> a) e-mail is an insecure transport mechanism for passwords
> b) it shows that you're storing the password in plain text rather
> than a password hash, which means that evil folk who hack your
> database can find out the passwords for everybody

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
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Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
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