Sign Up in a Mobile Context – Part IV
Lessons Learned and Best Practices
The Registration Flow is one of the most crucial phases of any applications’ life cycle. It affects the user’s state (it can cause joy through simplicity or frustration and anger from inefficiency), it offers a commercial competitive edge over other possible competitors and serves as the best way to provide an unique identity to each of the applications’ users. It is absolutely crucial to employ a simple and easy signup procedure.
For any kind of application we must aim to provide value upfront, in order to have a shot at capturing many users and more importantly, to be capable of influencing them to adopt our apps. To achieve this, as developers, we have to succeed in providing such value and clearly identify and convey it to our users. This holds especially true when we ask users to provide their personal information when they register. Allow your users to explore your apps before you ask them to sign up, so they can test it and formulate their own judgement before they even need to make a commitment (registration) to it. This allows for an even faster access, than using the already fast Social Login option, and disables any possible signup barrier. On the other hand, if you have a feature that requires an identity (or in other words, a registration), don’t hesitate to prompt the user for a signup, in a friendly manner, and if the user finds value in the app he / she will be happy to provide the required information. This technique is known as Progressive Profiling and it contributes to build a more robust customer data set over time. Make sure you present concise and clear messages about why taking the time to register is worthwhile, when the application first runs, by taking advantage of possible loading screens during setup procedures and by taking advantage of the descriptions you publish within the app store description for your application.
Following the example of the applications studied earlier, make sure your app employs the Social Login technique, which give users the ability to signup with just one or two taps. It has proven to be faster than employing the traditional Unique Account technique by a significant percentage of required effort. Additionally, if you only plan to offer only one Social Login provider, choose to use Facebook which seems to be the popular choice given its ubiquity as a social network. Furthermore, in order to make the Social Login feature extremely seamless and smoother, make sure to take advantage of the fact that several identity providers store profile information on the device itself, at the operating system level (this is valid for both Android and iOS), leveraging the information stored instead of rendering the social network permission screen (which is usually a web page) and effectively reducing the number of interactions needed for the intent.
If your needs exceed the scope of social login data or you find value in providing the most flexibility to your solutions, implement the Hybrid Approach technique. Make sure you carefully consider the added complexity of a multiple signup feature, which can add workload to your development efforts and add cognitive load to your users. Regarding this last point, ponder on the possibility to highlight the social login (for example, by placing it first on the list of possible signup options) which might influence your users to choose the less demanding option, effort wise.
For your UI and UX, disregard any desktop orientation and make sure to optimize all your forms to be mobile friendly. If possible, avoid typing and only display mandatory fields. If typing is unavoidable, implement some mechanisms that simplify the process (for example, use pickers when grouping information, always display the correct type of keyboard for the input field in question, prevent user input errors by placing format typing to the input fields, etc.).
- Allow your users to explore your apps before you ask them to sign up.
- Make sure you present concise and clear messages about why taking the time to register is worthwhile.
- Ask for what you need when you need it, using Progressive Profiling.
- Make sure your app employs the Social Login technique and use Facebook (as the first choice) or Google+ as your social login providers.
- Take advantage of the fact that several identity providers store profile information on the device itself.
- Implement the Hybrid Approach technique only when your needs exceed the scope of social login data or you find value in providing the most flexibility.
- Optimize all your forms to me mobile friendly.
Hardworking and passionate individual keen on learning and clearing any challenges coming his way.
Working in such a fast paced industry as Application Development, Paulo always aims to try and learn new technologies and new ways to perform his work, either through optimization or efficient process management. He is always open to embrace projects as long as they represent a brand new challenge and learning experience for him.