I'm currently reviewing the design for the registration (signup) flow on a website. I've heard that it's considered a highly favorable UX, but I'm not entirely convinced. So I'd like to gather more insights from other experts in the UX field.

The flow is designed as follows:

  1. User 'A' lands on 'Login or register' page.
  2. A finds a text field for email address, with 'continue' button. (On the screen,
  3. A types his email address and press 'continue' button

And as a next step:

  1. If the email is new (not in our DB), A will see the registration form after clicking the 'Continue' button.
  2. If the email is associated with an existing account in our DB, the system will automatically redirect users to the next page for the login process. A 'password' field is added along with the email address field.

While I could understand this approach if there were technical reasons, what I find perplexing is that the reason for this flow is considered a favorable UX pattern. It allows users to input their email, and the system automatically detects whether they have an account or not. However, after checking various references across domains incl our main competitor's websites, I haven't found many cases following this flow. Imho, the flow seems confusing, as the 'Continue' button doesn't provide clear guidance on what will happen next, hence, I don't think this is a good case UX wise. Even if we add a small sub-line like 'After inputting email, you will be automatically navigated to the right page,' I doubt many users will carefully read such a small guide.

Is this a favorable UX pattern, or are there problems with it?

1 Answer 1


I don't think a "Continue" button is the worst offense in this flow - a lot of authentication screens keep their next step vague, and use "Continue" or "Next". I think the main problem is that when the email address isn't found, you're immediately dumping the user into a registration flow.

Error recovery is a standard UX heuristic that states that when the user makes a mistake, they should be told what happened, and how to fix it. The user tried to log in and wasn't successful. They need to know what happened, and be given another chance to try again (unless you're, say, cutting them off after 10 bad attempts for security reasons). Immediately having them sign up with a potentially mistyped email invites an account to be created with an email that isn't real.

  • That's a great insight that I haven't thought about! Thanks for sharing your idea.
    – Euny
    Commented Jan 31 at 8:21

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