I believe the most important part of a whole app is the account creation process.

This is what will convert your potential user to customer.

My project, which is an email marketing service, asks for two important elements before being able to be used :

  • The account information
    • First name - Last name
    • Email
    • Password - Confirm
  • The project information
    • Project's name
    • From which name the emails will be sent
    • From which email it will be sent ("from").

As we speak, the online version only have one form that asks only for the account information. Once your account is created, you have to click on new project before being able to use the app. It's not great at all. I have a 90% drop after accounts are created.

So I want to move the project creation on the same page than the account creation, and I'm wondering this :

  1. Is it better to display the "account" form, click on the "next" button and have a slide/fade effect that will display the "project" form ?

    • or -
  2. Is it better to show both sections in one form/one page, Account, then after, Project, then, "Create" ?

The 1 is interesting in term of visibility, but I'm afraid that potential customer will quit when seeing "Next" because they'll think "how many steps?!"

The drawback for 2 is the form length.

What you guys think? Is there a best solution (maybe one that isn't in my suggestions)?

Thanks for your help!

  • Can you also describe in brief what your app is about?
    – Jigar
    Feb 19, 2015 at 11:46
  • What makes you think that added the project creation to the account creation step will improve conversions? Aren't you risking losing entire sign-ups at all this way? Surely having registered accounts that haven't initiated a project is better than not even having the accounts registered in the first place.
    – JonW
    Feb 19, 2015 at 11:47
  • @JonW I'm aware of that, but even if I tried to recontact users who created an account and didn't went any further, they didn't signed back. My idea behind moving it to the creation is to reduce the number of steps from 4 (create account, view home page, click on "new project", create new project") to just one! (Create account + project).
    – Cyril N.
    Feb 19, 2015 at 12:23
  • 2
    If people are signing up and subesquently not coming back, I think the issue with the app is deeper than the sign up form.
    – Voxwoman
    Feb 19, 2015 at 13:15
  • 2
    Any thoughts of reversing the process? To enhance conversion? Allow them to start creating a project and see a glimpse of the value in your app, then present them with "would you like to save it?" that prompts them to create an account?
    – nightning
    Feb 19, 2015 at 18:28

3 Answers 3


Try Gradual Engagement instead of a hasty sign up.

Instead of asking visitors to sign up immediately, why not ask them to first perform a task through which something of value is demonstrated? During such initial interactions the product can both show off its benefits, as well as can lend itself to personalization. Once users begin to see your product’s value and see how they can make it their own, they will then be more open to sharing with you additional information.

Gradual engagement is really a way to postpone the sign up process as much as possible and still allow users to use and customize your application or product.

You're selling a product, so let users demo the product before asking them to commit. If it's good enough for them to want to sign up to use it (in your case, before sending out an email), research shows that they they will.

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  • 1
    +1, because (and I may be in the minority but I doubt it) when I'm hit with "Create an account and give me your email address before you even try the product" my answer is always eject eject eject! That's because I won't trust that you're selling me on the merits of your product, but just trying to harvest my email.
    – msanford
    Feb 6, 2018 at 21:31

One possible approach I can think of is a mix of the two approaches you have mentioned. While its best to keep the account creation simple and not make it look like multi-step process, we always strive to make things simpler for users.

As per my understanding, once the user has created the account, they still cannot use the app since they need to setup/define atleast one project. It seems like having atleast 1 project is as mandatory as account creation to get started.

How about having the same simple account creation page with the 3 fields you mentioned and then instead of forcing project creation, give user a clear message suggesting they go further and create a project. You may have two actions therein - either to create project later or to go ahead and create a new project. If user choses to create a project, this will show additional fields to create a new project on the same page without losing context or making the signup process complex looking.

The benefit with this approach would be following:
1. User doesn't get baffled by the number of steps to begin.
2. User is aware that they need to create atleast one project to start using the app successfully.
3. User is not forced to create a project as it is optional while creating account, mainly a facilitator to quickly get going.
4. Account creation form stays simple with 3 fields and not a lengthy form by default.


Passwords are a thing of the past.

Users should just provide you with an e-mail. What do you need their names for?

Then you send them a link and the link acts as their login. So when they click the link it takes them to a new project page.

I think that is the best approach, as it will reduce your UI a lot, and users will check their email anyway. Click-and-go is much better than typetypetypenext

  • 1
    Can you cite any sources for this? How does this stack up against social login or the regular process?
    – invot
    Feb 6, 2018 at 21:03
  • 1
    Counter-example: I recently paid almost 1000 € for a ticket to an event. No login, I just received a magic URL by email. The tool at this URL allowed me to arbitrarily change the name of the attendee and see my billing details. Shocking. As a system designer, one has a duty to protect your customers in keeping with the state of the art. In this case, that extends to the lists of third parties that will be uploaded to the tool itself (an email marketing service) who have nothing to do with it. A magic URL is very likely insufficient.
    – msanford
    Feb 6, 2018 at 21:41

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