We are developing a website which requires registration to use some features.

My friend thinks visitors (non-registered users) should not even see the links for those features, because it is confusing.

I think they should see the links and upon clicking they should be redirected to login/registration page, because it will encourage them to register.

What is the best way to handle this?


Increasing the number of users is one of your objectives definitely, you need to show the registration links. Generally uses will not register until they see any value in doing so!

The best way is to show clear messages which define the value of registration. Visually differentiate the new user and the registered user without any distraction will help them to take clear actions.

First, you have to define your goal and take a clear decision :)


The best way to handle it and of course to encourage users to register is to be somewhere in between showing them some of the links and informing them that they have to register to view all of the contents of the links (and maybe some extra features they'll benefit if they are registered).

Best way, links are accessible but displays just enough to catch their interest and make ten want to view more.

The goal would be not to compel (this would probably make them not come back to the site) but to encourage them to register to get access to more of what you have to offer.


So, one of your business goals is to make user register, right?

Then I'd like to cite the article What Happens When a Business Objective Opposes User Experience?:

It is important to remember that our first priority as UX designers is to serve the business we work for. Yes, the business and not the users come first. Why? It’s because without the business there will be no users to speak of. Our work is supposed to be meaningful because it helps organizations to achieve their objectives.

Initially, it sounds not so good for a designer, but once they understand:
no business ► no product ► no users, it becomes obvious.

So, have in mind your business goals to take the decision.

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