I have a medical website about to launch. It is also a niche social network. There is a comprehensive question and answer section and questions are highlighted to users based on their medical interests via a custom question feed. Therefore, users interests and question topics are closely linked.
Many new users will come to the site via an invitation to address a particular medical question that has been referred to them via email. For this it makes sense that they get shuttled immediately from a single page sign up to the question they were invited to answer. But others may hear about the site and sign up.
My question is this - the user info is important as it helps to provide the user with a better experience (via a custom question feed) BUT I want users to just sign up, and not annoy them with several pages of sign up info before perusing the site. Do you think a 'gradual sign up process' is the best approach. ie on the site highlight that if they provide more info, 'we can give you a better experience'?