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Well my situation is that the user signs up, then the used goes to the a page which shows this.

Confirm that this address really belongs to you by clicking a link in the email. After that you'll be able to log in.

If you don't receive the email within a couple of minutes, try resending the mail. It's also possible that the mail have ended up in your junk email folder. Please confirm your email within two hours.

Resend confirm email <- this is a button

If the user goes out of this page then I worry that the user will lose access to the resend confirmation. What is a good way to handle this? I tried changing some of the text message and also some styles on the page, but I haven't be very confident about any.

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    Your backend system can simply always show this screen if the user logs in with an unverified account. – Evil Closet Monkey May 27 '14 at 17:48
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The answer is actually in the question: if you worry about users navigating away from a page that has a function they may need, offer that function elsewhere.

Dialog with self

I'm the user:

  • "OK, let's register".
  • "Fill in a few details".
  • "Oh! I need to verify my email, let's check my inbox."
  • "No, not there yet."
  • "Hmm... let's click here see what happens."
  • "Ooops, no more Resend confirmation email. No worries."

(after 20 minutes, option 1)

  • "Right, doesn't seem I got an email, what do I do?"
  • "Let try to login"
  • "Type in my email address, password"
  • "Oh! It tells me I need to verify my email - here's that resend confirmation email again".

(after 20 minutes, option 2)

  • "Right, doesn't seem I got an email, what do I do?"
  • "Let try to register again"
  • "Type in my email address, password, a few more details"
  • "Oh! It tells me the email already exists and I need to verify my email - here's that resend confirmation email again".

A thing to consider

Users may type a wrong email, in which case they'll never get the verification email. Would be useful to show what email was entered in the message you show.

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This is based on importance of confiming email id based on your business needs. With what you have asked it seems that the user can still access other parts of your site without confirming his email id else this will be only page he will see until he confirms. So considering it as medium priority just display as JS sticky/regular highlighted alert/information box at top of home page and/or at all pages with/without (based on importance) close button to dismiss alert. If it is less priority just prompt at random times or when email becomes primary mode of acceptance.

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