We have a software project, which is for users who do not come from a technical background.

Users are able to register, login, and add themselves to an event as a participant. They can also unregister for an event.

All this happens on a Front-Desk PC which runs a client in Kiosk-Mode.

Some events are, however, only for a group of exactly 2 people. (Team-Events)

The following problem arises: How should users be able to register themselves and a friend to such an event.

The two options I could think of were:

  • Let the users create a Team-Account, for which you could only register to team-events. Within this account, names of the two participants would be stored.
  • With a normal user-account, you could click on the "Register for this Team-Event" Button, and had to type the username of the user you'd want to participate with. Then, this other user would have to type in his password to confirm he has agreed to this partnership.

I can see how both options do have their pro's and con's, but I would personally prefer the second options.

Maybe there is also another option, which solves the problem that both people would have to be at the front-desk. What would be the best solution to this problem?

Q & A

  • This process is not often repeated. For starters, it happens 1 to 2 times a year for a complete weekend.
  • Teammates do not usually work together more than once or twice. Practically speaking: they can change every time.
  • Users are previously registered in the system, but I though of letting the second user register himself if option 2 would be chosen.
  • Could you allow people who want to participate in team events to register for them without knowing who they'd be working with? You might then allow individuals to registr for a team event, and let them see a list of team events that are not yet full. – Bernhard Hofmann Jul 22 '13 at 7:23
  • Sadly, no. The point of the team-events is that both participants know who they work with, and what they have to do. – Shion Jul 22 '13 at 7:26
  • 1
    Then I would prefer the second option, where both individuals need to authenticate during the registration process. – Bernhard Hofmann Jul 22 '13 at 7:28
  • Thanks for your suggestions. I'll leave this question open for a few more days, just in case. ;) – Shion Jul 22 '13 at 8:05
  • Is this registration process often repeated by the same people/teams, or is this only performed once or twice? Do the teammates usually work together? For example, if I were a repeat participant (registering weekly), and I worked with the same partner every time, I would probably want the ability to sign the team up. – Keiwes Jul 22 '13 at 14:04

I would let the first user do the entire registration:

  • they log on as normal
  • they register for the team event
  • at this point, the software asks them to enter the name of the second person.

Similar to when you book flights online; you enter the name and password number of your partner who's flying with you, but they don't need to also register themselves.

The way you ask for the second person's name depends on what the system needs:

  1. If the system needs to know just the name of the second person, the software just asks the first user to enter the name in free text.
  2. If the system needs to identify the second user's account, then you use an appropriate search control (like Outlook's address book) or match names functionality (like Outlook's email composer window).

I'm assuming that you can trust the first person to be honest, and that you don't need the second person to confirm their registration?

  • Theoretically, I can trust the user. I will reassure this, and if it's ok, I'll accept this answer. – Shion Jul 23 '13 at 13:49
  • @Shion: Out of interest, who are your users? – Vince Bowdren Jul 26 '13 at 9:21
  • My users are people which are guets at a big event, such as a convention. I can trust them to a cetrain grade, because if they do register with wrong names they'd gain nothing. – Shion Jul 29 '13 at 5:28

There are could be a bunch of cases, I don't know all of your requirements and context. There are some factors which influence user interaction:

  • if the event registration process is momentary, i.e. requires the presence of both users at the same time and place? Then your option 2 is good. The second user could enter his data and confirm, so the first user shouldn't even know his nickname.
  • for non-momentary process first user either should know exactly nickname of the second participant (potential error point) to send him invite or if the second user not registered yet, it is a deadlock.

So the solution for non-momentary event registration process could rely on the second user and requires for the second user to know some identifiers to append to event later. Such identifiers could be:

  • event title -- it is possibly long text, hard to remember, lazy to write
  • first user nickname -- short text, easy to write even on a napkin. Knowing it the second user after registration could easy find and append to the event, using the first user nickname.

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