I'm trying to improve this form to make it a little more user friendly.

The main area I'm trying to improve is the validation process.

Right now, the form gets filled out on index page /, and the user is re-directed by the server to a /validate page. To improve the experience, the email or phone number is shown to the user so they can see whether they entered it correctly. (though rarely, it does happen)

I'm considering adding this change, but there's a bit of work required to facilitate, so I"d like to get feedback before I go ahead with it.

I'd like to give the user an option to update their information in the validation page, with the choice of resending validation by email or phone, with a 10 second timer. The timer would serve as a buffer to let a message arrive before user hits re-send because they haven't received the message by then. I find emails sometimes take almost a minute to arrive, and I haven't done enough test to get an idea of reasonable latency, but they seem to arrive within 10 seconds.

The second part of this is structuring the URLs and browser redirection.

  • the form is on the index page
  • form action points to self, but with POST header
  • POST handler
    • renders self index on failure with form filled out and error messages shown
    • redirects to validate on success with thank you message and contact info

The problem currently is that there is no way for the person to get to the validation page other than knowing the url. If the user closes the window, the information (or reference to the form) is lost also. Other than the link that is sent to the users email, the user would not be able to get to the page. Is this acceptable? is there a better way to handle this?


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups


I should mention that this is not to create an account but part of a lead generation website, where this contact information and it's validity is needed. A certain amount of pain is helpful IMHO to separate the interested parties from bots and tire-kickers. By pain I mean the added nuisance of validating, not dealing with an un-intuitive or confusing interface or process.

  • 1
    If I understand what you want from this question: Next to the submit button on the index page, put a link 'I have a validation code'. The validation page can be generic for email/phone, but can detect the validation type because the format of email and phone validation codes can be made to be different. Jun 22, 2015 at 11:04

4 Answers 4


Make verification a separate task

Unless this is a high security application I would strongly advise you to completely separate out the validation portion of your sign-in process. Let people use the application without verifying their email or phone number for a limited time. Be sure to make it clear that they need to verify their email and/or phone number to continue using the application past 10-14 days.

You could even leave some sort of very noticable bar across the top until they click the bar taking them to the page where they can verify their email and/or phone number.

validation warning bar

Authenticating with a system can still be a huge barrier to entry and anything we can do to make it easier for the user to get in means more people will be able to use the application.

Two input fields are needed to reasonably and uniquely identify a user.

  • Username (who you are)
  • Password (what you know)

Try not to ask more than this of a user who wants to sign in. It sometimes makes sense to add additional factors of authentication when dealing with sensitive high security information but each input makes getting into the system that much harder for authorized users as well as unauthorized ones.

  • Thanks @DaveAlger, I should maybe have given more context. The web application in question's purpose is not to create an account but to share contact information (for lead generation). Users are prompted to validate their contact information to reduce the amount of bogus requests (as well as bots) Though the the practice of validation may be up for question as-well, I'm just trying to make the process of validating as smooth as possible.
    – Daniel
    Jun 22, 2015 at 15:41
  • Oh sorry for the misunderstanding. I can certainly see why the business wants to get rid of invalid / bogus contact info but in order to fix this problem we first need to ask, "How will a user's life improve if they provide accurate personal information?"
    – DaveAlger
    Jun 22, 2015 at 16:19
  • 1
    The solution may be as simple as texting a personalized link to the demo. Give us your name and phone number and we will text you all the information needed to get the demo up and running in your environment. Thanks for trying us out and we look forward to making your life easier. Their only option is to provide a valid phone number or leave. (unfortunately this will mean option 2 a lot)
    – DaveAlger
    Jun 22, 2015 at 16:23

I would also avoid the 10 second timer. The scenario of useful email re-sending is when an user has made a mistake and wants to correct his/her email, so you should not let him wait 10 sec. If you worry about spamming it's better to control sending emails from the same IP or email address, giving 'ordinary' users better UX.

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    the 10 seconds is more to prevent someone from hitting the re-send button because they did not get an email in their inbox right away
    – Daniel
    Jun 22, 2015 at 15:55

With the validate "page" this seems good to me, only thought would be to have a "Not the right e-mail address" link below the e-mail, so that they can correct their mistake, rather than needing to sign up again.

Most sites and services now let people in without validating email/phone, however (some) then limit functionality until they validate, displaying a message with a link to the validation page at the top of every page inside.

This removes a sticking point and allows someone to start looking around your site/service while they wait for the e-mail, which isn't allows available on the device they sign up from.


This is just my personal opinion, but I hate it when I'm trying to shop and somebody is obviously trying to generate leads. I don't care to spend two minutes filling in a form to try to figure out what your product or service is. Give me an option to find out what you are selling and what advantages it offers to me before trying to get my contact information.

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