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Has anyone seen any good examples of a basic form (e-mail / password) that a site uses for both existing users to login and for new members to start a registration process?

Yes, I'm thinking something along the lines of Amazon sign-in page, but I think even their method could be slightly improved.

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It's a great idea. You just need to make the user aware that it's not "only a Login form" or not "only a signup form". They need to know that they will be registered if they play around with the form. I have implemented this on an old client website years ago, and we've never had any complaints about it. Actually, we've had many people say how simple it was to register. –  Spike Mar 31 at 19:44
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closed as not constructive by JonW May 28 '12 at 14:16

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7 Answers

Hurl has this for example.

Btw, there's also a post on the combined log in / sign up pattern that fueled some discussion as well.

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Nice article. Interesting UX –  Glen Lipka Feb 9 '10 at 22:42
    
Hurl, to me, is a very poor example, because it has no labels on the fields. Very poor usability. –  Charles Boyung Feb 11 '10 at 13:41
    
Okay, I have to retract that a bit. They kind of have labels inside the text boxes (well, a label and a bunch of stars), but they are so light I didn't even see them on my laptop screen until I looked really closely. Also, doing that "label inside the textbox thing" doesn't really work when you have a masked password field and you are using that. –  Charles Boyung Feb 11 '10 at 13:42
    
Hurl seems to use github login exclusively now. –  Brian Ortiz Feb 2 '12 at 22:35
    
Amazon does something similar as well. –  Pathachiever11 Apr 1 at 17:48
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I belive Mockingbird (http://gomockingbird.com/mockingbird/) login form works for both purposes: for signed users to login and unsigned users to sign up. It it very simple and quick.

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I was just going to post this. After tabbing out of the email field, it validates whether you're a current or new user. Existing users just enter their password, and new users need to enter a password 2x to confirm, then log in. That's it. –  Janel Feb 11 '10 at 12:14
    
There's a privacy issue: maybe i don't want you to know that i'm a user of Mockingbird, if you know my address you can easily check if if have an account or not. –  Adrian Feb 26 '10 at 13:41
    
@Adrian: That's an aspect I hadn't noticed. Would you suggest something to fix the privacy issue, without changing it's "Login/Sign Up as one form" characteristics? What if there was that one button saying "login/register", but it wouldn't change when e-mail was informed, it would lead different places, depending on whether the user already has or not an account. –  Renata Neira Feb 26 '10 at 14:49
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luke wroblewski is where i go whenever forms are brought up. he has a great example of selection dependent input forms:

http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?974

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Yup..I'm wrestling with complex web forms at the moment. Luke W's work is outstanding. He seems to be 'the man' for web forms with excellent insight. I found this presentation of Luke's a complete masterclass in web form design. Best 30 minutes I've spent in a while! Highly recommended: lukew.com/resources/articles/EventApart_WebForms_120809.pdf –  Nick Fine Feb 10 '10 at 9:14
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  1. Pandora is interesting in it's use of Flash.
  2. Intuit shows how NOT to do it.
  3. Turbotax is pretty good. Alot of testing went into that. (Create an account, try it first and existing customer)
  4. Facebook has them pretty close to each other.

Alot of these systems have the two functions pretty close to one another. Turbotax is closest though to get started with minimal info.

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In the comments of the article that Zoltán listed above there was a good article referenced. Google provides some insight and research on creating log in forms such as this: http://sites.google.com/site/oauthgoog/UXFedLogin

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How about the login/signup interface on newsvine.com?

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There seems to be a new trend for login only pages and registration is implicitly done when a user signs in through facebook/twitter/openid. stackoverflow.com, for example, has no registration at all - only login with OpenID.

The login/registration page on digg.com is somewhat similar though it offers a registration page too.

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