Monday, January 29, 2007

User Registration

Guy Kawasaki blogged about the top ten barriers to user adoption... The number one barrier? User registration. Hopefully this isn't too much of an issue. Users will most likely need to register with our service in order to use it, but it's going to be simple - an e-mail address and password. It will be part of the listing creation process, and hopefully take only a few seconds.

I don't really see simple registration as a barrier... In fact, it would help greatly to weed out the users that aren't really interested in the system, or those who like to spam. If someone really wants to use the service, taking 3-5 seconds to enter an e-mail address and password really isn't that big of a deal IMO. If users can't do that, then perhaps the service is never meant to be.


Anonymous said...

We're not finding that user registration is the problem, it is giving them something engaging to do once they have signed up. People who can't get through a reasonably well thought through registration proceedure probably have bigger hurdles ahead of them with any new service.

Robert said...

I agree... As long as the user can interact with the site and see what it's all about, they'll register if interested. Like you said, if they ARE interested in the site and can't register... Well... Perhaps they aren't meant for the internet? :)

I think Guy Kawasaki was referring to sites that require a significant amount of information just to get in the doors, in which case I fully agree with him.

Tony Wright said...

Heya, Robert-- long time no talk!

I think the point is that user registration is an investment (of time, if not money). If someone has to make an investment BEFORE they are able to flex their muscles with your product, then you are reliant on how persuasive you can be with screenshots/ screencasts/ headlines/ etc. If a user can get benefit from your product FIRST, then registration is a no brainer. if all they have to justify the investment of time is your assurances that the product is worthwhile... You've got a hurdle to jump over. Certainly jumpable, but...

Craigslist has an interesting system. I can build out my post on craigslist without an account. What's wrong with that?

Robert said...

Hey Tony! -- My AIM s/n varies from time to time :)

This is still a tough decision, because some of the sites features would require registration. However, users would still be able to walk through the site, check things out, and setup tag feeds without needing to register... But once a user wants to post something, it becomes necessary.

I'll have to do some innovating and see if we can make registration optional. I'm sure it's possible, especially if we use e-mail confirmation URL's.