Registrations forms are a pain in the backside, if its not forcing me to enter a password twice and it not asking me for information that you don’t need then it’s probably that stupid squinty captcha text that is either really easy (and a waste of time) or its so complicated that actually even with all the might of Google servers you couldn’t solve it. Either way you can probably see that I hate registration forms, and forms in general, which are long – complicated – annoying – unhelpful – meaningless and well, insert more adjectives here.
The challenge of fixing the world of crap web forms for a better user experience, whilst maintaining the level of data required by a company (for business or legal reasons) isn’t an easy one. It is something I take on, on a regular basis – in particular I look to remove hurdles and time wasting fields – for example asking for a password twice, or masking it by default, simply ask for it once with a show / hide icon if you are a fan of security by slight obscurity. Other hurdles include asking for data you simply don’t need, for example unless there is a good case (for example sending a birthday treat) then usually there isn’t a need to collect a persons date of birth for them buying a pizza from your website – collect it later when the customer is logged in, use a pop up and increase engagement with the account page. The list of annoyances for a user within your web form maybe huge, but one of the biggest annoyances is when a form does not have “on-the-fly validation” or help, so when someone enters an email use javascript to check it, when someone enters a password use javascript to check its strength, little ticks make a user feel happy and compelled to continue.

But the challenge with registration forms doesn’t stop there, and thats where Customer Profile Based Solutions company Janrain excel hugely. Whilst looking around their blog to see what i could learn I found this great infographic on registration forms and the reality of them. Some of the figures are amazing.

user experience with web forms