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I'm working a form at the moment and was consider merging sign in and sign up but thought it might be confusing. Is there any precedent for this?

Example

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

This has been asked before but the answer was more about the word selection and pointed to this article which I thought was a bit off the point.

Or alternatively, what if the button was dynamic i.e. if the email address was recognised they'd see a button saying 'Log in' but if it wasn't then it would say 'Sign Up':

mockup

download bmml source

  • Related: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/79692/… – Alan Jul 28 '15 at 16:06
  • @chris, this solution is a little strange... You fill out the form, then the button changes text? Why? That adds way too much into the process. What if the password was mistyped? How is the error message shown? Do they have to click twice to go from continue to log in? This is too confusing in my opinion. – Majo0od Jul 28 '15 at 17:35
  • just thinking of odd solutions to a problem and wondering if anyone had experience of them working or not etc – Chris Jul 28 '15 at 19:44
  • The question was definitely interesting, but I could definitely foresee issues with that design pattern. Never hurts to try something new, but sometimes what isn't broken doesn't need fixing ;-) – Majo0od Jul 29 '15 at 11:40
  • See also this question – TripeHound Apr 21 '17 at 15:05
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I think combining the two will be confusing. The reason why companies create two distinct paths is because those two are different paths.

What happens if someone thinks they have an account, and then when they don't and they start registering and they don't want that, what then? This is forcing a user to register if they don't have a login, and that's not a good idea.

Instead, just create two different paths:

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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    Or worse, what if they have an account, but make a typo in their email address/username? They'll have created a new account without realizing it and all of the stuff they expect to see upon logging in will be missing. – Nathan Rabe Jul 28 '15 at 15:40
  • thanks, I have expanded on the question a little in relation to what you guys have said @NathanRabe and Majo0od – Chris Jul 28 '15 at 16:04
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    @Chris I don't think the edit changes the answer. Users are not likely to notice a small change in the text, and many might use the Enter key instead of looking at and clicking the button. There's also no way to guarantee that you can make a round trip to the server to verify the email before the user finishes typing their password and submits the form. – Nathan Rabe Jul 28 '15 at 16:20
  • @NathanRabe completely agree. – Majo0od Jul 28 '15 at 17:28
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    yeah that was what I ended up thinking cause you couldn't exactly preload the email list in the background as the security would be totally compromised haha – Chris Jul 28 '15 at 19:44

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