Year of the Optional Registration

Fri, Nov 18, 2005

Simplicity Rules

In the Year of the Password Manager I complained about sites that require registration. Honestly, it’s not a big deal to me. I am the sort of geek that usually is making the decision to require registration, so I’m not really a good example of the average user.

  1. The average user is worried that I’ll spam them
  2. The average user doesn’t want to take the time to fill out a form
  3. The average user wonders whether it’s worth logging into their “spam account” to get my confirmation email for a service that might just suck

If I really think I have something, shouldn’t I lower the barrier for entry? Shouldn’t it be less about getting my email and more about showing me all the functionality possible without an account? I think so and I think we should make 2006 the Year of the Optional Registration.

In the case of Rollyo, let me create a search without creating an account. Let me even share the search. Just set a cookie so if I decide to sign up you can make sure I get credited with my searches.

Riffs – let me give thumbs up to Lindsay Lohan. Heck, even let me write a review, but tag me as anonymous. If I want to stand up for my opinions, I’ll do it later by creating an account.

There are two reasons I can think of why so many sites would require a membership:

  1. They want to have a hook in me so they can email later and say, “hey–remember me?”
  2. Every else does it

And I have two solutions:

  1. Make your stuff so good that I’ll never forget you
  2. Everyone else will do it if they get on board with the Year of the Optional Registrations

So, what do you say, are you in?

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  1. Simplicity Rules » Way to be optional, SlideShare Says:

    […] SlideShare is an excellent example of something I asked for over two years ago. I suggested we should make 2006 the Year of the Optional Registration. It’s a shame SlideShare is a rarity. Maybe 2008? […]

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