I am busy designing my first mobile app and I want to ask for some help.

After some research I realised that you do not have to ask for Sign In / Sign Up as the first screen in your app.

My Question is where and how should I prompt the user to Sign In / Sign Up?

Here the flow diagram I am busy designing for my application: enter image description here

Should I

  • have a Sign Up button at the bottom of the profile screen
  • subtle like a normal text element prompting the user if they want to sign in or sign up
  • show a pop up asking if they would like to sign up? (maybe with some benefits that they get for doing so like saving data to the cloud or persisting data between devices?)

I am new to app design so any help would be appreciated!

  • Hi Carl, welcome to the site! Sign up and Sign in are similar and easy to confuse when next to each other. Maybe consider Sign up and Log in as an alternative (more context: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/20595/…) Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 16:04
  • Thank you! I’ll give this a read 😁
    – Carl Meyer
    Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 17:34

2 Answers 2


It’s a great realisation that you do not need to ask for sign in at the first screen! Seriously, enough colleagues in UI design simply do that unquestioned, because it seems like a best-practice. It is not, and rather frustrating for users, actually, leading to bounces.

From Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines on Accounts:

Ask people to create an account only if your app’s core functionality requires it; otherwise, let people enjoy your app without one.

Delay sign-in for as long as possible. People often abandon apps when they’re forced to sign in before they can do anything useful.

If Login is optional (which most of the time it is actually), it should never stand in the way of achieving a user’s goal. Most importantly, it should not be thrown in their face in a pop-up.

But once they finished their task, and the app’s value became obvious, they are more open to additional engagement.

The keyword here is Gradual Engagement. LukeW wrote some great articles on the topic.

Twitter's recent sign-up redesign boosted new user conversion 29% by using gradual engagement.

[…] registration is either postponed, or handled behind the scenes and the first time experience is focused on giving people an understanding of how they can use a service and why they should care to.

So confirmation pages might be a great place to motivate users to create their account.

Great, you created your first event!

_Sign Up_ to synchronise events with your other devices.

Your Sign Up option in the profile is a great idea as well, as users who actually plan to do so right away probably will find it there.

  • Hi Andy, thank you for your detailed answer, this already gives me a lot to think about. I like the idea of asking the user if they’d like to sign up once they have completed a useful task, again some of my research mentioned that you should show the user why this app is valuable to them before asking them to give information about themselves. I also think having sign up or register in the profile page makes sense as users that intend to use the app will often want to set their name and profile picture, and thats then a perfect place to let them know that they can create an online profile
    – Carl Meyer
    Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 17:40

You're taking a thoughtful approach to this, and you're absolutely correct to be thinking about placing sign-up at a moment when the user sees the value of the app and understands the need to provide personal information.

I'm going to suggest in this case, however, that you move sign-up before Add/Edit trip. Here's why:

  • The user might wonder why there's a Profile icon in the app, when they haven't told the app who they are. It's a bit cart-before-horse. We usually see those after an account has been created. (Replacing "Profile" with "Sign In" is a pattern we often see in unauthenticated apps, though.)
  • As mentioned in Andy's response, sign-in is appropriate before core functionality. The user likely will perceive adding a trip as a logical place to be asked for personal information - adding trip info is where they'll usually be providing passport numbers, addresses, and other personal info, anyway.
  • Most importantly, though: The risk of data loss outweighs the need to be unobtrusive in this case. Your user is traveling. Travelers unfortunately sometimes lose their phones, or they're stolen, during trips. How would our user get back to their account to find their return flight information if they didn't set one up to begin with? What if they need to access information on a borrowed device, or a desktop computer?

It still might be a good idea to demonstrate the value of the app before the user adds their first trip. Perhaps you could walk them through a demo event to show how easy it is to get set up, explaining the benefits along the way.

  • Thank you for your answer Izquierdo! Also lots to think about with this one. I am also developing the app so I am thinking of the technical side with these answers as well. I like your approach to show the user the apps usefulness before giving them full access (requiring registration). Might be a bit more work but I have seen apps do this before and also acts as a tutorial for the user. Thanks for the suggestion!
    – Carl Meyer
    Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 17:52

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