Today, i just came across the most simplest registration for a website at www.docstoc.com . Just give your e-mail id and nothing else. I could have used my facebook id and get started, instead wanted to try out the registration experience. Once i gave my e-mail id, i am ‘in’ as a registered user and was able to access most of the features offered by docstoc.com
- Fill-up at least 4 to 6 details like user name, e-mail, password, verifyy password, First & Last Name (optional)
- E-mail verification
- Password resetting
- Display account/ profile details and ask for more information.
- Automatically sign-up for ‘E-mail notifications’ and make the user to opt out (which is the most irritating thing to do)
By following the above processes, most website combined two things in ‘one go’ – user registration and capturing quality user details (authentic details). But, looks like docstoc.com separated the two and just focused on ‘registration’ at the time of sign-up and everything else was kept as part of the next time login.
Its approach does have minuses like if you do not capture the details at the time of registration, then it is likely that the user is not going to provide it at a later point of time. But there are other ways to solve this ‘data quality’ problem like the way linkedin.com does by indicating ‘your profile is 70% complete, why don’t you add a profile picture’ and throw-in incremental features to take the profile completion to 100% level.
Here it is important to note that one of the ways of to achieve simplicity is ‘never combine two or more things into one’.
Just focus on what is the ‘single most intent’ of asking a user to do something and design the solution accordingly.
PS: You will get the above ‘simple registration’ only when you try to download a document. Else docstoc.com does follow the conventional steps for registering a user.