Raise your hand if you’ve tried to create an account and log into a website, only to be get frustrated with how difficult it is.
If I had two dozen hands, I’d raise them all!
Forms are a standard on the web, used for online shopping, access to content, email, social media, and more.
Why do they have to be so difficult?
And what can you do as a designer or developer to minimize the pain?
First step, consider whether you need an account in the first place.
…if you do run an online store, make guest checkout the default and offer to save customer details and create an account once a purchase has been completed.
Sign-up Form Best Practices
In his 13-minute Chrome Dev Summit 2020 video, Chrome Developer Advocate Sam Dutton shares helpful tips and advice for creating forms that help your users sign up, sign in, and manage their account.
- What to consider before you add a sign-in form
- How to minimize clutter and maintain focus on the form
- Best practices for passwords
Dutton highlighted helpful tips for creating sign-up forms that simplify the sign-in process and keep the user focused.
Here are my top takeaways:
- Consider whether you need to force the user to create an account. Client-side storage may be sufficient to save info between navigation/sessions.
- If creating an account is required, make it quick and easy
- Provide more than one option for people to sign in, whether it’s with an identity provider (also known as federated login) or with an email account and password
- Make it clear where users sign in
- Help password managers to work with your website: code your forms correctly, make sure autocorrect is used correctly in your HTML
- Implement rules for password strength, never allow compromised passwords. Check whether the password has already been compromised.
- Don’t force users to update passwords. Monitor for unusual account activity and warn users.
- Support multi-factor authentication
- Make it easy for users to change their passwords
- Allow users to easily delete their accounts, provide a prominent “Delete Account” link
First question to ask when designing a sign-in form: do you really need it?
Filling out online forms is one of the top frustrations for people. Why force someone to complete a form when it’s not needed?
By following the best practices Sam Dutton recommends in his video, you can optimize your sign-in forms to provide website visitors a better user experience.