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My gripe today is in regards to web site usability. I woke up this nice sunny morning in London (a rarity indeed for the month of January), rolled down to Starbucks to get my latte, came back and sat down to a leisurely catch up of blogs and news which inevitably ended up with me signing up for some beta release of some new worthless dotcom. And that is when my morning went a bit sour….

Registration process. Seems to me that you (website usability or product person) should make registration a quick and painless process so that I can continue on into your site and check out all of your worthless features.

What you should not do are the following:

1) Ask me to verify my email address twice. I know how to type and, even if I didn’t, my browser is smart enough to save most of my readily used form data to offer me a dropdown with my email address.

2) Give me the option of a username. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone would just use the same syntax for usernames? As in, EMAIL addresses. Then all you have to do is offer a display name to them. Granted there are a few issues with this, but honestly that is for someone else to work out. I’m just saying that I can’t keep track of the thousands of websites that I have registered for and the easiest way is via my username. Or get OpenId. Whateva, stop confusing me.

3) Ask me a bunch of lame questions. I don’t need a security q&a about my first pet for your lame ass bbq opinion review site, so don’t ask.

4) Display an image with letters for a confirmation code. This is actually the issue that kicked off this post. I swear that I must be deaf and dumb, but mostly blind because looking at those freaky LSD 60s images makes me feel a little dizzy. I can not ever decipher the letters in them. They remind me of those stupid posters at the mall that you are supposed to concentrate on in order to see the sailboat (NO, SCHOONER! – Free lifetime nerd love if you can tell me where that is from).

5) Ask me to confirm my email address. I want to get into your site. Why are you hurting me? Why do I have to sit here and check my email in order to do it. I am an honest person, I use the correct email address. Besides, you only really want to confirm my email address so you can send me some stupid unwanted spam.

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don’t eat the brown acid

What you should do?

1) Email address
2) Password (ok you might ask me to verify this twice)
3) Register button

How hard was that? Really. Everyone needs to stop getting clever about registration process and cut down the barriers to entry. Your customers will appreciate you so much more. Or at least I will. /end of rant

Example of my dream signup page: Vimeo wins!

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