by Cesare Rocchi

On Signup Screens

by Cesare Rocchi

There’s a very nice article by Sebastian Kreutzberger about improving UX by avoiding signup screens. There’s also a follow up post to address cross-platform issues. It’s all feasible, sure. But is it worth it? All of this just to avoid a signup form?

I am all for a better UX and a signup screen can be seen as an “obstacle”. On the other hand a form is also a milestone. A customer entering her email is a form of commitment. The form can even be a means to keep tyre kickers out.

Both posts are about UX and the technical feasibility of apps without signup forms, so maybe it’s a bit unfair to view them under a business perspective. But I couldn’t avoid to make the connection with this episode of Product Hunt radio with Ryan Leslie. The relevant part is in the first 5 minutes. Here’s the gist:

  • Ryan is a musician
  • Ryan signed with Universal
  • Everything was great for the first album
  • The second was selling less than expected

His suggestion to the marketing team was simple and easy: “why don’t we send an email to those who bought the first album?” The answer was as much easy : “we don’t have those emails”. Ryan is now selling new albums directly.

Collecting personal data or even just emails to create accounts is an overhead to me. There are privacy protection requirements to comply to, especially if a company is based in Europe. And yet, in spite of that, I think it’s worth having a signup form where the email is the user identity. It’s still the best means that I know of to create and nurture a relationship with a customer.