Dear experts I want to know your opinion on registration process for a multi user site which has more than one profile.

For example, say we have a site which has different roles.

  • Developer
  • Seller
  • Buyer
  • Designer

All these 4 user roles have different profiles on the site and are managed through the dashboard.

What's the best way to handle the registration process? On the registration page if you ask "are you a designer?", etc., it wouldn't work because a developer can be a seller as well as a designer. So maybe a simple registration form and once it is done, it should ask what do you want to do on the site?

I really need an expert comment on this to know how we should handle this kind of registration process.

  • is the other fields common in the form other than role?
    – sree
    Feb 22, 2014 at 6:53

4 Answers 4


I would split the process in two main steps, one is the action of the user to register on the site; as a user of the site, not as a designer, developer or anything else, just as a user. For that I'd ask name/nick, password and may be email. No more. After that step is complete, the system should have created a basic profile for that user. It could be a page with no data on it. Of course, the respective tables/database should be filled or initialized.

Then, in a second step, I'd ask the user to fill the information pertinent to the profile that is going to affect how he interacts with the site, part of that information seems to be what you mention; developer, seller, etc. If those options affect how things are visualized, I'd adjust as soon as possible.

The second step could happen right after the person has created the user on the system, on the first login, the first time it interacts with something on the system, etc. You have to decide when is the right moment for that.

Conclusion, the registration process is just that, registering a new person as user of the system. What you want to do, if the configuration, or personalization of the user, so it should be separate from the registration.

  • +1 for "the registration process is just that, registering a new person as user of the system. What you want to do, if the configuration, or personalization of the user, so it should be separate from the registration."!!
    – sree
    Feb 22, 2014 at 6:55

Just have a simple registration form asking for basic and common details you need.

Like Name, DOB, Address, Sex will be same

So, next you can focus on getting specific info.

This way, the user feels

Ok, this app is really good. It's asking only the needed details !

So have a common registration form asking for basic details, and then ask for specific details.

The user will also feel like

I'm filling out less, than on most other sites !

  • I see two problems with a multregistration system like that, one is the no separation of actions, the second one, is that you have to add a very clear explanation on the registration page so people know which option to choose. Not impossible, but certainly a bit more complicated and prone to errors.
    – PatomaS
    Feb 22, 2014 at 11:33
  • I think Amits logic is good and UX wise its good for the user but soon as he registers I dont think we should ask the user to fill all the information. Maybe it should ask all the information and we should also have an option which states "do this later" and once you try to do an action it should ask you to complete profile with the information. This type of a site has more than one profile for example Developer, designer etc. So top my account should say my profiles I guess. Its hard to handle with just one profile.
    – user39648
    Feb 22, 2014 at 20:45

I don't think this is a good way to handle this because the reason is a developer can be a designer at the same time and if we ask what they want to to do they will get confused.

The best way I think is they should register with a simple registration process with 4 fields asking for name email password and after that if they try to do an action like posting a job, bidding on a project they should be asked to complete the profile with information.

How does this sound?


I would achieve this by having 4 separate registration pages, which can either be the same page rendered differently based on referrer URL, example:

/signup/user/ -> Ask which of the sign up pages to go to,

  1. Developer
  2. Seller
  3. Buyer
  4. Designer

Common Fields Username Full Name Email Address Address

If developer: /signup/user/developer/, or /signup/user/?type=developer

Additional Fields IF Developer 1. Developer Question 1 2. Developer Question 2 3. Developer Question 3

That way you can code specific validation for each type and target the registration process for each type in a more specific way.

This avoids the two step process.

Another option is to use some sort of SSO (single sign on) SAML based system, where the user can automatically sign up using Google/Facebook/Linkedin accounts, and then they are asked "What is your role?". However this is much more complex.

  • Having 4 different way to register implies that the person has made a decision before in order to choose one of the options. That decision would have to be clearly explained before. It's not too difficult. Although, I still see the same problem as with other options mentioned, the profiles are just "specialization", or "options", or "modifiers" of the user itself. The person registers as a user on the system, then acts on it as any single or combination of profiles. But of course, it's just my opinion.
    – PatomaS
    Feb 22, 2014 at 11:36

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