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I have an app that users can invite other people to by sending them an e-mail address. These invitees get stored in a special table that gets queried when a user signs up, connecting email addresses and adding the new user to any private objects they may have been invited to.

However, I just realized that when a user gets an invite, and then signs up with an other e-mail address, the system won't see them as being attached to those private objects.

I can't immediately see a way around that problem except for adding the email address they signed up with into the link and then having multiple email addresses per user stored. But this seems excessive.

Has anyone else experienced this before, and have any ideas on how to work around it?

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This probably isn't a question best suited for UX.SE but here's a suggested solution anyway... (it takes a UX stance also)

When sending invites to users, you'll surely include a registration link. Each of these links should be unique to each user, so when the user selects the link and is taken to your registration page, have the page pre-fill with any and all information you have gathered about the invitee. These fields should then not be editable, thus meaning they are unable to register with an alternate email address.

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The reason I posted this question was because I'm not concerned with how it's implemented, but rather with what the best experience for the user is. I feel like this is a problem independent of the way I've built it, and if I have built other aspects of the site wrong, I'd rather fix that. I've thought of pre-filling all the information from the user, but I don't think it's ideal, because I'm not sure I want to force a user into a specific account? –  Simon Oct 11 '12 at 17:51
    
You would only have to for the sake of registration, it just keeps things tidy in your database, and will mean that invites are recognized. The last thing you'd want is for a user to select your invite link, and then be denied access because the email address they are using hasn't been verified. You could always inform the user that the email address can be changed later from within their app settings. Alternatively, don't use the users email address as the unique identifier, instead generate a unique code for each invitee. That way the user has the choice, regardless of what's in your DB. –  Daniel Meade Oct 11 '12 at 18:12
    
I like the solution of a unique code. I think that's probably the best direction to go with. Thanks! –  Simon Oct 11 '12 at 18:44

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