Monday, May 21, 2012

A User Interface Solution to Sign Up Forms

Lets Murder them. I hate filling forms in real life too, how can it be any pleasant experience online? Some thing I hate in real world gets multiplied virtually because I have to fill forms for every thing I register for. I start with my name and Gahhh..!! a whole form asking everything about me (some of them ask things that even I am unsure about myself)..

"Well If you are enjoying any service for free, there should be no doubt that you are one of the Products, and so is your data."

Sometimes its OK, but I dont feel very active all the time to fill the forms, and the box, they creeps me out to even register into services that may really help me make my life easier.

Lets kill them.. (Ok, I said it earlier before, but this will actually explain you my level of hate to these forms). Lets look at these creepers closely, and lets try to find a way out. I am writing down some of the ideas that I know, You may add in comments too.
  1. The idea is create Engagement/Interactions not forms.
    E.g. Take for example Tripit. This application for managing your travel plans by using your travel confirmation emails could easily have asked all new members to sign up through a registration form. Instead, to the join the service new members simply have to send Tripit a travel confirmation email. From this email, Tripit creates an account and extracts the information it needs to create a rich travel plan for new members. No form required. People sign up for Tripit by using it and learning what the application can do for them.
  2. A different type of Sign Up form  Minimize the Key Inputs, try to make it point and click for web and Touch oriented for Mobiles.                                                                                                                                                      

  3. Using Web Services for Login : Web services allow people to log-in to a new service using their profile and contact information from other Web sites. The idea here is to make use of information people have already provided elsewhere instead of having them fill it all in again on your sign-up form.

  1. Other Communication Tools like Email. Tripit already uses it, Posterous, which is a blogging service, let you write a blog post in your email, attach a photo, send it over to Posterous, and they'll essentially publish that whole thing for you, no need to ever get out of your email client. The idea is that input can come from anywhere. You can use your email client to provide input. You can use your IM client to provide input. You can use Twitter, or you can use your calendar. You can use book marklets or browser extensions. 
  2. Mad Libs forms ask people the same questions found in typical sign-up forms in a narrative format. They present input fields to people as blanks within sentences.
  3. Create Data Extractions points at various points of user interaction.  Asking people for information once they are already using an application is often more successful than asking them before they start using the application. These days is trying to do the same.

I will keep on updating the list. I personally support all of them equally.

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