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I was testing out Swoopo here in the US, actually, I should say that I was trying to test out Swoopo, but got stuck at registration until it angered me enough to write this.  This site has to have one of the worst, most unfriendly registrations that I have ever attempted to use.  Whoever is in charge of UI at Swoopo should be taken out and shot.

The only good that might come out of having a registration that bad is that I can tell people how NOT to design their forms.

Things that suck on Swoopo’s reg process

  1. Unnecessary required fields – Do they really need to know my gender as the first question?
  2. County is a required field?  Who the hell in the US uses County?
  3. It attempts to be cute and suggest my city with a dropdown.  It fails.  San Francisco is the city that I input.  It suggested to me – which I had no other option but to select – Presidio (San Francisco).  Um, why?
  4. Another unnecessary required field – Where did you hear about Swoopo? – Oye, dumb marketing person, people will just select the first one in your dropdown because they care zero about giving accurate information to you. They just want to hurry up and finish their registration!
  5. Captcha
  6. Then the real fun starts…Error messages galore!
    Phone number error message – you need to format your phone number 415-555-1234 because entering 4155551234 just wasn’t good enough
  7. And the crowning glory?
    Every time you submit and get an error message, the lovely crappy forms clear your 3 checkboxes for terms and conditions, clear your password + password confirmation AND clear the captcha.  If you are like me and can never read the stupid captchas properly, this means that you had to fill in those fields about 4 times and still continued to error out.
  8. Email confirmation – After all that work I’m still supposed to get a confirmation email and click on it.  Within 48 hours.  Seems a bit 1992 considering that at some point I am going to have to make a payment and then confirm my identity.
Honestly, did anyone at Swoopo ever try to register for their site?  Get rid of the unnecessary fields, drop the captcha, fix the formatting # issue, drop the email confirmation crap, consolidate the terms and conditions + privacy and DON’T clear all the fields if there is an error message.  This would at least be a step in the right direction…

And a lesson for the rest of the world.  People want to complete registration painlessly and get to using your site as soon as possible.  Don’t put up barriers to entry.  Let them in!  Embrace them and be nice.  Don’t make them jump through hoops because they shouldn’t and won’t. This is one of the reasons that I love Posterous so much.  No registration!  Genius!

BTW – this is how I feel when I try to decode a Captcha.  Like I am staring at a magic eye that everyone else in the world can see, but I can’t seem to decipher.

 

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