During sign up we require that the user gives us a phone number so we can contact them quickly if there is an issue. I am concerned that phone may not be accessible to all our users.

I can think of a couple of options here:

  1. As we already have their email address we make this field optional
  2. We give the user the option to leave details about alternative contact methods

Does anyone have examples of a good pattern for this?


We made the phone field optional and provided a clear message that explained the benefit of giving us a direct contact method.

An improvement of this would be to allow them to choose wether they need to be contacted via SMS.

  • I'm fairly certain that deaf people still have and use phones May 26, 2016 at 8:40

3 Answers 3


For Deaf Users: Email and SMS will do. Technically they're not blind so they can read. You can also use facebook or other social networks for alternative contacts so you can message your users.

Your suggestions: Both are good but it's also safe if you will make Email field required even if you already have, so you can confirm if the user didn't change their email.


You should always create a platform that has multiple notification options. You could send an E-mail to the registered user (As you suggested), and also, send them an SMS or Text message to the same number, which can be used as record for further referrals. This should cover the notification requirements.

Make a contact number and E-mail address mandatory in your registration page.

Also, you could provide a field for an 'Alternate contact' and a 'Secondary E-mail', which need not be made mandatory to fill. This will be effective for people who might have a tough time being notified of, during a time of need; say, a deaf person.

Both your suggestions are pretty useful, and if you ask me, you should implement both.


I am deaf myself and would always appreciate SMS.

It would be nice if you could create a form like this:

Phone number: [xxx-xxx-xxxx] [ ] text message only

That way, you know the phone is only for text (regardless of their ability) and if it's not checked, you know they can use voice as well.

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