I’ve always said that registration should be like a first date, slowly introduce yourself, ask a few questions, get a response and ask a few more. Until both sides get where they want.
First impressions count.
Don’t bombard your new user with anymore that 3-4 questions when first introducing your registration process. If you’re going to ask more than two pages of questions, add a progress bar to manage their expectations.
Why not try this? Break your offer into bite-sized chunks
Don’t get too personal
Ask for just what you need in order to create the account; you can always ask about other things later.
Don’t ask for personal information (e.g. date of birth) unless you really need it. Where regulations stipulate geo-location, ask just enough to create the account. For the UK, use postcode look-up. For international products, customise fields for that region.
Give meaningful feedback
For instance, an invalid username is entered, do not return the error message:
Please try again. Error code #10486
Specifically tailored inline messages that actually help the user continue with their registration is by far the preferred method. Help password selection by simply including “7-12 letters and numbers.” within the field. Simples!
Get in touch
This is but a another contribution to the design community by spindlelegs. Please leave a content or message direct at firstname.lastname@example.org