Ask the right questions
There are key considerations when it comes to asking strangers for their personal details. You have to ask the right way – to make each question relevant and necessary.
Fancy a date?
Recently, it has become ‘en vogue’ to stage a registration process. This has many advantages, but the primary is that you do not ask too many questions. It’s like going on a date, first you ask the basics, then you subtlety position yourself to let the other side talk. Let them reveal something about themselves. For example, if you can quickly get their email address and their name and possibly their phone number you can allow a potential customer to navigate around your site. Then, and only then, if they want to add more value, ie book a flight, place a bet or purchase a product, then you move onto the next stage of the registration process.
That way they can measure the reward.
Staged registration process – Desktop
Break the mould
As always, as your are designing the form(s), think KISS. Keeping It Simple Stupid, at all stages of the registration process. If you think a customer doesn’t need a username different to their email address, then prompt them so. Ask questions while designing, like why do I need them to type their password twice? – if I default the Show Password option they can see what they are typing. Postcode lookup is great if you have the back end database hooked up, and you are in a appropriate country, but if not ask why would you new customer populate the wrong address if there is a benefit for them to use the right one.
Watch your drop-off rate
All the stats point to increased drop off if the benefits don’t outweigh the effort. If Registration is akin to pulling teeth, and if the process is unnecessarily long and drawn out – people will drop off. Agreed, some processes are strict and controlled, PCI compliance dominates when financials are involved and sometimes a UX designer has to dive a little deeper. But try and do it gracefully and intelligently – does the customer need to set their currency at sign up? Same for display preferences. Park all that unnecessary stuff in Account Settings, they can do it later.
Ask the right questions
A bit extra
And finally, if you adopt the philosophy that all things on the web should, and could be fun, try and roll that out here, with your registration form. I don’t have all the answers, but maybe include some fun in your error messages, or as you gather momentum through the process is there an opportunity to add humour through bespoke ‘Please wait’ animations?
What do you guys think?
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