Why Signup Processes Must be Dead Simple

startups registrationFor startups, it’s challenging to capture the spotlight. There’s so much competition, lots of noise and a marketplace chock-a-block with consumers who are fickle, time-strapped and not really paying attention.

It means if a startup is successful in actually getting someone to visit their Website, they can’t give them a reason to click away.

Even it’s a small issue – something I describe as “grit” – a Website visitor will quickly click away without giving it a second thought.

So let’s assume a startup’s messaging, value propositions and benefits are well-articulated and clear. Congratulations, but if  you want someone to sign up for your service, there’s another big hurdle to overcome: the registration process.

Don’t Ask for Too Much Info

It’s surprising how many startups fumble this crucial step. Often, it’s too complicated, requires too much non-optional information, doesn’t provide any details about what’s going to happen next, or validation about why someone is signing up for a service.

The reasons why registration processes fail is perplexing but it may be this step is regarded an after-thought. There’s so much focus on developing a service and the messaging surrounding it, a startup may forget the registration process requires as much attention.

This, unfortunately, is a mistake because a bad or flawed registration process can cut you off at the knees. It’s not unlike the problem e-commerce retailers have with abandoned shopping carts.

So how should registration processes work and be effective?

In short, it should be sweet and dead simple. Don’t give people a reason to think twice. Instead, let them register in seconds without giving it a second thought.

Here are a couple of examples of user-friendly registration forms:

Tumblr – 1, 2, 3…and you’re done.

registration forms

Goodsie - Set up an e-commerce store now.

registration forms startups

Bottom line: Make it easy to register, and keep it short and simple. Another important consideration is making the confirmation email a marketing vehicle too. Rather than making it a plain vanilla “Thanks, you’ve registered for X” email, it’s an opportunity to promote the value of your service in a creative way.

What tips would you have about signup forms? Are there companies that do it particularly well or creatively?

More: UXMovement has a post on the eight reasons why people don’t complete sign-up forms.

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  • Jim Rudnick

    Further to the thought that signup forms must get vital consideration by the founders is the opposite side of the coin where it is obvious that not only did they not think About this – but that they do NOT even care! I bogged about just this kind of “founder smugness” myself here At -
    What an awful founder error, eh!

    • Mark Evans

      Jim: I always find it fascinating and troubling that no-brainer processes such as sign up forms get so little attention and, as a result, do a lot of harm. Thanks for the comment – Mark