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I am designing a simple web application. The only main function is displayed in homepage, together with other product feature promotion. On the top of the page, there are two buttons, for sign up and login respectively.

Our marketing goal is to encourage users to register/sign up. Now when users click on login, the page will have a popup window for users to input email and password. But for sign up button, I am not sure which method is more encouraging and convenient, popup window or new page?

Thanks.

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This varies from website to website based on the amount of data you want to capture on registration form, among other factors. Sites like reddit offer a quick popup window to capture data which is just a username and password, but sites like Paypal which might have drawn out registration process comprising of various steps, credit card information etc will take you to a separate page.

This is helpful because drawn out registration requires complete user focus with little or no distractions. However, quick registrations like Reddit, want to get that data and let you in as quickly as possible. Hence this depends on the domain of your site, the amount of data you want to capture, next steps after user registers etc.

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The primary usability aspect I see here is returning to the previous location.

While technically it does not make a difference, a popup communicates this to the user: "Once we are done with this little hassle, you will fall back to where you were before".

I would also expect a popup to indicate "this will be over quickly".

The first doesn't matter for sites where all I can do is log in / sign up, the latter can be mitigated by a "moden design" page with a few large inputs and the "Register!" button in sight.


So from these musings, the hard fast sometimes wrong rule would be:

tl;dr If anonymous users can navigate the site, a popup is slightly preferable.

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