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In designing an online, in-browser game, I found in my research that many other games have "priority" in registration over login on their home page. They usually show a big form for registration, leaving out sign-in to a small space or even under a button click. I find it weird because usually the login feature is used much more than registration. And it's not only on games, Facebook's landing page enphasizes registration over login, too.travian landing pageogame landing page

Shouldn't that be bad for usability? Should I follow this on my design?

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If you could provide an example page/link it would be better to understand your question. If you provide that, you should mention if your game has the same kind of public target. And I recommend changing a bit your question, because right now you seem to be asking us to guess the reasons behind those decisions, unless one of the creators os an online game is here and answers your question. –  PatomaS Mar 16 at 14:58

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I'm not a designer of any online game, so I can't talk for them, but considering experience and human behaviour, plus having played some of the games from gameforge, the idea is very simple.

Captive market to make money. Either by selling in game products or by promoting stuff.

They have captivating games that interest people using different techniques, so they have than once you are inside the system you are going to be hooked to the game, at least a good number of people, they don't know for how long,but it's going to be some time for sure.

Part of those games involve things that you can get with money, improving response from the game, faster development, many things that players desire, and some of the registered player will pay for that. The percentage may be low, but there is always some people that will, so the most people that you can get inside, the better.

Other games, and also gameforge for some time, send you newsletters with promotions, and they may have deals with other companies to get their products promoted. Since they already have a big amount of subscribers who are not going to block mails from the game they are playing, that guaranties a lot of eyes.

Of course there may be other reasons more or less legal or moral that we don't know about, but that's even more speculative.

Should you do that? I can't tell.

If your interest is to make money and you can give users something they want, sure, go for it. If you can't give users something worth the effort and/or the money, then don't.

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Simple: a brand new person to a site won't hunt around for a "create account" section for more than a few seconds before moving on. So that needs to be front and center.

However, an existing user will take a moment to learn where the sign in link is and then basically memorize it. Typically they won't even look at that front page anymore.

Point is: existing users have a good reason to spend those extra few seconds looking for, then remembering, where that link is whereas new visitors generally don't.

In the two screen caps you have, Travian is a little more user friendly simply due to the color difference of the login button. It's easier to see. However, ogame's isn't that bad because they are sticking to a known location that a lot of other sites use for the sign in link.

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If I understand the question correctly, you are saying that registration is taking priority over sign-in. As in, there may be action the user has to take to get to the login page/modal, whereas the registration is ready for input.

If that's the case, I think its a classic case of putting the user second. I would imagine the reason registration is presented first is because the designers want to get more people registered. However, this is annoying for all users once they are registered. I think its in the users best interest to make login the priority and having the registration easily accessible but not the priority.

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