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I'm redesigning a login process for my product's website.

Right now I have my login process, billing address and shipping address on one page. I'm looking at other sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble where they have a create login section, then they have a shipping address as well as a billing address as a next step?

My question: is this a good paradigm to follow or is there something else I should do? Is there a site which describes this?

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This might be useful: New Approaches to Designing Login Forms on Smashing Magazine. –  Vitaly Mijiritsky Jan 18 '12 at 4:18
    
Did you mean sign-up process instead of log-in? The latter would usually require simply username/password, while the former could potentially request/require all that other guff. The former would also only happen once per user. –  Erics Jan 18 '12 at 4:47
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6 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

One of the things that Amazon does is get the basic information from you when you sign up, and then reuse this, but allow you to add more information as time goes on. So you may end up with half a dozen delivery addresses, and 2 or 3 cards registered with them, but you don't really notice the time it took, because you did this in 10-15 shoppig trips.

So, on a first signup, get the minimum information that you need. Personally, I am a fan of the "no register checkout", but it does have disadvantages (especially to the shop). And make the process of actually buying something as easy as possible. Amazons one click checkout is the ultimate example of this.

And do not follow Amazon or others slavishly. In many ways, their processes are very poor. Make them work properly for your product and your customers. They are different from anyone elses, so the UX needs to be properly tailored.

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+1 for the last paragraph. (Well, the whole thing, but especially the last paragraph). :-) –  Anonymous Jan 24 '12 at 14:33
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I would be more focused on your beliefs rather than trying to do what the 'big guys' do. I can't think of any specific URL to give to you, but i can say that if you upset the user (which by the way is a delicate beast) then you will for sure lose customers and i can say without a doubt that this info doesn't need to be backed by evidence since it's pretty much common sense.

The role of developer/programmer requires you to weigh the risks of moving to a new more structured login process with that of your capabilities; if you do not know how to implement this process in a structured idiot-proof way then your best bet is to leave it be.

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I wouldn’t say it is about “your beliefs” as you put it, as user-centered designers we should be exploring what is the best process for our user base. To say “without doubt” that evidence is not required is foolhardy. I find this particularly presumptuous. I also think that competitive analysis of other websites with large UX teams, such as Amazon can be a useful resource and a good benchmark to design something that is better for your audience. –  DigiKev Jan 20 '12 at 21:14
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“Create login” should be separeted from billing/shipping info because ANY interface is a an obstacle for your potential customer.

Try keep field number to an absolute minimum. On every additional step or field in the form you will lose a valuable part of your users.

Separate signup/login from billing. Not everybody want permanent accounts. Users should be able to visit any page, use shopping cart, buy anything without creating account (by specifying shipping address explicitly at ship page).

Move both signup and billing forms to the latest possible stage of your checkout procedure. When users have already chosen their purchases and have shopping cart full, they will be much more motivated to fill any form you ask, compared to the first time they visit your site.

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It seems that you're trying to gather all the information that you may need from someone when they first sign up for a service. Don't.

Any time you ask someone to fill in a form it is yet another reason for them to leave the application / site. Only ask for information when you need it.

If you want to give customers the option of giving you this before they need it, you can do it in an account or profile section.

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Breaking up your content into multiple pages is a good practice. Having a multi-page flow allows your user to focus directly on the process at hand and reduces eye strain per page. Loggin in, then billing address, then shipping address.

For e-commerce when the shipping and billing are on the same page or poorly distinguished against the user can become confused and at the last minute change the wrong address for shipping, or mess up their billing address and ponder why it didn't go through (since payment companies tend to just send back and error and code instead of human readable "address did not match file")

So yes, put your processes on multiple pages. However make sure you also add a progress bar if this is part of an e-commerce flow, so you're users know this is not the only thing they are going to need to do.

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I can really advice a smashing magazine article for this, it describes everything what you want or at least a new view to some things.

For designing the checkout process they have a great article on this to

PS. I knew, i would use those 2 articles once ;) PSII. Don't forget to read through the comments of those pages, some additional tips can be found there to (like a user always uses wish-lists, to be honest, i do to etc..)

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