I was showing a prototype to the CEO of my company and explained to him that the solution will be available on mobile devices as well as an accompanying web portal where users can register for the services. He looked at me and asked if the portal can be completely optional. “I don’t want to register for another service on the web. I don’t like to remember passwords”, he said.
This is a problem for most users: countless user name and passwords. With theÂ mushrooming of web 2.0 applications, every app wants you to begin from scratch – as if you never existed before. It is fine if you use Yahoo or Google etc but most of the interesting new stuff is by startups. The existing and proposed solutions such as OpenID etc have not been able to address the issue adequately. There are all kinds of applications out there (online, desktop and mobile) which will securely (yeah, I know, its hard to know who to trust) keep your ids and passwords and help you in sign up. Even after you do all of that work, you still have to go through the registration process of new web sites and all.
By the way this is a huge problem for enterprises also. Single sign-on, as it is called, is the holy grail for companies which have multiple login systems, causing much anguish and creating silos within the organization.
So what can you do if you are developing a new application which requires registration for a new account? Make it as easy as possible. The registration section of your app has to be really really user friendly and without glitches. You don’t want drop-outs at this stage.Â See this good post from G. Kawasaki on registration best practices.