Registering and login procedure for non technical end-users

Tracy Perry

Opinionated asshat
Joined
May 25, 2013
Messages
4,988
Yeah, I've never understood the "difficulty" in a registration process... but I also have a wife that is, by her own admission, computer illiterate and she "tests" the logins for me on any site I set up. :p
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,370
I have to say I've encountered numerous forums that I've really struggled to register with and it's an alarmingly high number. Just some of the problems I've encountered:
  • Forums that have registration turned off, but not by design (In one case I recently came across, turned off for over three years :eek:).
  • Multiple captcha attempts that I can't get past.
impossible.jpg
  • Not knowing the capital city of Columbia is 'Bogotá' rather than 'bogata' or that two plus two equals 'four' and not '4', a problem I've encountered so many times.
  • Block puzzles asking me to spot signs, cars, shop fronts and all manner of ambiguous items.
account-registration-captch.jpg
  • And then there's that confirmation email that may come sometime between now and never and probably delivered to your spam folder when it arrives.
In my opinion there are two sides to this debate :p:D
 

Tracy Perry

Opinionated asshat
Joined
May 25, 2013
Messages
4,988
The last one is normal until Google "learns" your computer apparently... most likely with a cookie it writes.
Some sites I just click the box and it lets me on in but others give me the "pick the images with street signs/cars/roads/something else obtuse).

As for the spam folder issue... especially with hotmail.... it's a push by those services for the sites to sign up with an email validation service. Once the site (mail server) gains a good reputation, and has SPF, DKIM, RDNS, DMARC configured, those emails usually start going into the inbox.
 

DanielGarneau

Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
151
I have to say I've encountered numerous forums that I've really struggled to register with and it's an alarmingly high number. Just some of the problems I've encountered:
  • Forums that have registration turned off, but not by design (In one case I recently came across, turned off for over three years :eek:).
  • Multiple captcha attempts that I can't get past.
View attachment 49684
  • Not knowing the capital city of Columbia is 'Bogotá' rather than 'bogata' or that two plus two equals 'four' and not '4', a problem I've encountered so many times.
  • Block puzzles asking me to spot signs, cars, shop fronts and all manner of ambiguous items.
View attachment 49685
  • And then there's that confirmation email that may come sometime between now and never and probably delivered to your spam folder when it arrives.
In my opinion there are two sides to this debate :p:D
Thank you zappaDPJ, and Tracy Perry, and everyone who are taking part in this thread!

I'd like to share some of my thoughts about what has been said so far in this thread in light of my experience.

Those of us who have been involved with the IT world have become accustomed to its ways, and we understand many of the unwritten rules and of the implicit meaning linked to the context of a field within a form, its shape, its sequence, etc.. Things have become so obvious to us that we don't realize all of the things we had to learn over the course of years before we could become convinced that all is well and easy-enough for most. The above quote provides a good set of examples.

Some of these issues we, as forum owners, have control over, some we don't. In the case of my own forum, I chose a captcha display that avoided any potential confusion, even if it was not deemed the most standard one nor the safest one.

Other issues, we can't control (unless we know of a workaround) because they are part of how the software we are using operates. As far as I am concerned, the forms displayed by the PhpBB software when a user wants to join the forum initially is too confusing for persons with low previous exposure to IT systems, of which forum software are heirs: too many instructions and fields appear on the same page, some of which do not have to be filled if others are.

Now it has been said in this thread that if people can't register without help, they can't use the forum functions without help either. That point is certainly a valid one. For example, with the standard PhpBB as I have it set up, the tool designed to create a link will be hard to understand for that sort of person. It is the forum owner's job to decide if he wants to deactivate such a function or make it more user-friendly through a mod (or extension), or move-on to a different forum software.

These problems are clearly related!
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,587
I agree with the above. The basic signup and login processes hardly changed since the vb2 era, and even as new ones emerged like oAuth, their adoption took forever even in the most popular scripts and you had to depend on addons to bypass those limitations.

As certain services like Whatsapp demonstrate, on mobile to make signup and login even more seamless: using a phone number to validate an account, then complete your profile anytime later. Consider that many people dont use email at all even if they have one, others dont have Facebook/Google accounts, but phone numbers are now nearly universal.

It would be a mistake to underestimate how streamlining signup could help websites take advantage better of periods of virality. And it's not about people being stupid or failing to click Next.
Holders of normal or social accounts can disappear after a while, and ignore board emails and newsletters. With phone numbers, you could still reach them, assuming its important, not invasive and they havent changed their account's verified phone number since.
 

Ramses

Adherent
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
328
As far as I am concerned, the forms displayed by the PhpBB software when a user wants to join the forum initially is too confusing for persons with low previous exposure to IT systems, of which forum software are heirs: too many instructions and fields appear on the same page, some of which do not have to be filled if others are.
Just tried out a register page of a phpBB forum, there are 4 fields to fill out.
1 - Username
2 - Email
3 - Password
4 - Password Confirmation
5 - Captcha

Even if you haven't studied rocket science, people nowadays in the year of 2017 should be able to do this. And 99% of the population should have an email address too.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,587
99% of the population should have an email address too.
This doesnt take into consideration people first introduced to personal internet access, like teens. Should they create an (email) account so they can create another account on 1 site?
Forums should do better to win them before losing them permanently to social networks.
 

Ramses

Adherent
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
328
This doesnt take into consideration people first introduced to personal internet access, like teens. Should they create an (email) account so they can create another account on 1 site?
Forums should do better to win them before losing them permanently to social networks.
It's maybe just my opinion but I think we've lost them long time ago...., changing to phone verification won't get them back.
But sure, having an alternate verification process, why not.
 

DanielGarneau

Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
151
Just tried out a register page of a phpBB forum, there are 4 fields to fill out.
1 - Username
2 - Email
3 - Password
4 - Password Confirmation
5 - Captcha

Even if you haven't studied rocket science, people nowadays in the year of 2017 should be able to do this. And 99% of the population should have an email address too.
Hello Ramses,
Your observations are right with regards to which fields are present with a plain phpBB registering page. Thank you for mentioning it.
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
1,658
Meanwhile to sign up on Facebook has the following fields:

1. First name
2. Surname
3. Email or phone number
4. Password
5. Date of birth
6. Gender

Think the process isn't quite as simple as people make it out to be...
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,587
Meanwhile to sign up on Facebook has the following fields:

1. First name
2. Surname
3. Email or phone number
4. Password
5. Date of birth
6. Gender

Think the process isn't quite as simple as people make it out to be...
You only need to set that account once, and tech-challenged people can get help to signup.

Gender and Date of birth and Gender could be left optional but making them mandatory is better for websites. Under COPPA, I suppose Facebook is supposed to limit access for underage users so specifying a DOB is pretty much mandatory, wether its done during signup or later.
 
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