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I was under the impression that using two different styles for a form was not visually attracting and confusing for users.

Yet a big internet player seems to bee using a different style for their login and sign up form, which looks very unpleasant (subjective) and unprofessional.

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Facebook has a Billion users at this point, so breaking their usual design in order to emphasise the form seems odd.

What kind of impact does using two forms such as Facebook in this case has? I am sure this is not an arbitrary decision.

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Can you use some references about why including two forms is distracting to users or give a little bit more of background? –  edgarator Dec 5 '12 at 3:09
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I think your browser and platform have some influence on the visuals. Are the black controls part of your system's visual theme? –  mawcsco Dec 5 '12 at 15:12
    
It looks as though you're using some sort of custom form theme, possibly as a browser extension. Not all of those styles are what facebook uses by default. –  zzzzBov Dec 5 '12 at 15:59
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Are you talking about the difference of layout between the "log in" and the "sign up" forms (labels outside vs inside the textboxes)? or the two different themes that are used in the page (regular page vs the dark gray)? It seems that the dark gray controls are native controls and they match your system theme. I'm not sure about all the technical stuff in web design, but are you running on Linux? maybe you have a problem in your browser? –  Padrig Dec 5 '12 at 18:05
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I cannot replicate this behaviour - I think it's something client specific like an OS theme. Can anyone else produce this? If not we should probably close the question. –  Jimmy Breck-McKye Dec 26 '12 at 21:26

2 Answers 2

The "Log In" form is where most people have come to expect to find it, and that makes the choice logical. They would have to have a good reason to put it anywhere else.

The "Sign Up" form on the other hand is the focus of the page, and is laid out in a way that makes the most sense for that task. Once again a good choice.

Consistency is a good thing, as are many principles in good UX. However an even more important part is not treating any principle as a religion and blindly applying it. Break the common principles when it improves the UX.

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They are also differentiated by color :) –  edgarator Dec 5 '12 at 3:09
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Yes, I believe there is a little confusion here. I think the original question, before being re-edited was actually about the use of the dark colors in the controls, and not about the difference between the "log in" and "sign up" forms... the dark colored controls are native controls. On Mac OS, you will see the regular combobox with Mac OS style, for instance. –  Padrig Dec 6 '12 at 6:43
    
While tumblr is opposite, they give preference to existing users.. still have a massive user count. –  Zerotoinfinite Oct 12 '13 at 15:05

Sign up is the primary task of this page, so is given more prominence than login. I'm assuming most people will have login details stored so when they go to facebook it will go directly to their account.

As JohnGB said, Break the common principles when it improves the UX.

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