Signing up with Facebook or Google too hard for non-techies


(Justin Gordon) #1

I watched a new user trying to figure out how to sign up, and the response was “Oh, gosh, the last thing I want is another login and password.” Since most users have either a Facebook or Google account, I asked the new user to try click on the Facebook button.

Basically, signing up is too hard. We need to watch non-techy new users to try to sign up.

Can a custom header link provide a short-term workaround?


(Sam Saffron) #2

It’s tricky, many aspects of the design depend on having that space, technically you could wrangle something up, but it is not trivial.


(Jeff Atwood) #3

So there are two requests here:

  1. Make “create new account” more visible. But bear in mind you create an account once, it’s a rare action. It should not be super prominent in the UI.

  2. Add the “log in with (x)” buttons to the create account dialog

Only #1 is a change that we can really attempt before V1. I don’t have a lot of reports of users completely failing to create new accounts, so I am not inclined to give this a lot of attention at the moment.

Maybe you could screenshot some login dialogs that you think work better, from other websites?


(Jeff Atwood) #4

One idea, from the (otherwise horrid) Kinja comment system, you could break it into two screens:

So there’s less to select from. And we wouldn’t call username/password “burner” either… but clicking burner gives

As I said, this is essentially splitting the one dialog into two dialogs.


(Justin Gordon) #5

Here’s a site I built.

To make things easy on the existing design, I’d recommend:

  1. First Screen: Change label Sign In to Sign In (or Sign Up).
    That makes it clear that the Google and Facebook buttons can be used to Sign Up.
    Don’t use a link for “Create one now!”. Instead use a button “Create New Account”
  2. Second Screen: Be sure to include the Oauth buttons on the Create Account screen.

(Justin Gordon) #6

I’d say that for a site trying to build a community, and given that logins are persistent, the case of creating an account should be very prominent, rather than a “rare action”.


(Jeff Atwood) #7

And yet, across hundreds of Discourse instances, we have no reports of users so dumbfounded and thunderstruck by the current sign in dialog that they are unable to create an account.

I do agree that it is a good idea to give users a “second chance” to use alternate third party logins, but you have to understand that there could be up to six of these buttons and it’d make the create new account dialog as busy as a Nascar vehicle.

Ultimately I think the Kinja flow I screenshot above is best (e.g. break it into two dialogs) since the user has less thinking to do at any point in the sign in / register process. And that will have to wait until after V1.

Here is another idea:


(Luke S) #8

I actually like the first part of this idea a lot. For the cost of three more words of copy, it is possible to make the entire process much more clear to a… Technically challenged… user. It will even fit well on mobile. (I have a really crummy mobile screen. If it would work for me…)

For the second, I might consider the copy: “I don’t have an account.” or similar.

Background for this viewpoint:

Working customer service over phone. Includes helping people sign in to a website. People from a wide swath of backgrounds.

I can see trying to keep all of that on one page, but I suspect that the persons who have to spend some time thinking about the current sign-up procedure will have a hard time understanding those tabs.

This is much more of a guesstimate than the first, so if there are holes to be shot, Shoot clean.


(Jeff Atwood) #9

Adding words is not generally helpful, because users don’t read any of the words already on the page – particularly for the type of user you are talking about.

http://blog.codinghorror.com/teaching-users-to-read/


(Bcguy) #10

Of course - if they don’t know how to sign up/create a new account - we will probably never hear from them - people just give up and move on - which is the case for most visitors anyway.

But I would go with The Verge design as something that has probably gotten some UX/UI research validation behind it - over what we have.


(Jeff Atwood) #11

OK, I just checked in this change:

So the “create new account” is more prominent than before, at least.

I do agree with you @justin_gordon that it would be nice to streamline the flow ala the Kinja screenshots I posted above, or duplicate the “sign in with Google/Facebook/Twitter” buttons on the Create New Account dialog.

However that is a bigger deeper change and we’re trying to lock things down for V1.0 here, so it’ll have to wait.

(also, doh, I just noticed “with google” is duplicated on this particular login dialog… need to fix settings for that site.)


(Jeff Atwood) #12

Some related work going on here


(Jeff Atwood) #13

Good news! Sign up → Create New Account now has the social login buttons duplicated at the top, ala the Verge example: