I have a design for a new user registration form in which I am proposing to
not use a "Confirm password" field and would like your feedback on this
The form will have 4 fields, all of which are required:
1: User name (This will be supplied to the user prior to their using this
3: Hint question
4: Hint answer
The form also has some explanatory text that describes the use of the hint
question and answer which is that the pair of fields will be used when the
user forgets their password. If the user forgets their password, or thinks
it was entered wrong, they will will click the "Sign in using the hint
question" link. The hint question will be displayed and the user is to
enter the hint answer. Doing so will sign them in and present them with a
form to reset their password.
The justifications for the decision to not use a "Confirm password" field
are as follows:
a) I believe that it is rare that people type new passwords incorrectly.
b) Assuming that it is rare why should 100% of the people have to retype
c) In the event that the user does type their new password incorrectly on
the registration page, which they will realize the first time they try to
sign in, they can follow the "Sign in using the hint question" link.
d) Having a second password field doubles the chance that they will make a
typo error on their password.
The resistance I am getting is as follows:
i) It is convention to enter passwords twice.
- My response: I need a better reason than that.
ii) Since we are only showing asterisks or dots for each character the user
doesn't know if they have typed the correct password or not.
- My response: A user is likely to be paying more attention to
the typing of a new password than for most form fields and thus is that much
more likely to get it right. No data to support that, just a gut feeling.
iii) Users would rather find out sooner than later that their password was
- My response: Agreed, but at what cost? 1% of the users who
mistype their password benefit from 100% of the users typing their password
twice with no benefit.