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Some projects/clients firmly ask to confirm the email when a user enters information in a particular field. When I don't have a choice, I'm proposing a checkbox that users need to manually select to confirm their email. Has anyone tried the pattern? What were your results?

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There have been numerous questions about email confirmations. Please search the archive. –  dnbrv Jun 28 '12 at 19:41
    
Could you please clarify something. Is there already a known valid email in the system at this point in the user workflow? –  JeffH Jun 28 '12 at 20:00
    
I can imagine the occasional user speedily entering their email incorrectly, reading the label, ignoring the task and click the checkbox anyway. There can be no mistakes when requiring the email twice. –  Darragh Jun 28 '12 at 20:34
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@Darragh - people can, and do, copy and paste the information into the second box. –  ChrisF Jun 28 '12 at 22:01
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both are rather pointless and act more as placebos for the uninformed client. –  DA01 Jun 28 '12 at 22:43
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3 Answers

Normally, e-mail addresses are confirmed by sending a time limited URL to the entered address and when it's visited confirms the e-mail address. It also serves as a final registration step. If you use it like this then you just need one box:

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Obviously it won't help if people enter someone else's address, but if your users know they are going to get something they must respond to they're more likely to take care when entering the address to make sure that they do get the e-mail.

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There is no real need to type your email twice.

If a site enforces this most users will copy & paste.

If the second input is not mandatory and not even offered by default, why would anyone choose to fill it in? (Especially since there is no use for it.)


See this question and my answer to it for more details:

Preventing a user from pasting from the clipboard into a mandatory form field

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You've not really answered the question here, you've answered the 'do you need to enter email twice' one. OP is particularly interested in whether the solution suggested is suitable, not whether the whole email address entry concept needs re-thinking. –  JonW Jun 29 '12 at 12:54
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I thought my third sentence answers the question. –  Danny Varod Jun 29 '12 at 14:05
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User's already knows to type in and confirm the e-mail. The check box will provide little benefit and mostly annoyance to the user. They just typed their e-mail. They just checked it to see if it was right. They believe it is correct. Now you are asking them to re-check it. I would be annoyed. Some users would check the box even with an incorrect e-mail.

If you must do it. If you are going to annoy the user anyway, give yourself the benefit of improved results. Enter the e-mail twice.

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The purpose of the checkbox is to remind the user to re-read what they've entered. Yes, people don't intentionally enter the wrong address but without a confirmation prompt there is less reason for them to re-read the field. The checkbox is designed to prompt them to do so. Checking a box is less annoying than typing the address twice; that's what the OP is asking about - is that a suitable option to take. Just because you personally don't like it doesn't make it the wrong option. –  JonW Jun 29 '12 at 12:52
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Yes, to quantify this specific question A/B could be done. Statistically, entering it twice would result in a higher percentage of valid data than just a check box. It it better to stick to the conventions that already exist. And yes, also personally I would be annoyed with breaking a convention to tell me what I already know. And metrics are always better when possible. –  webdesignux Jun 29 '12 at 18:14
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