Feature: Signing Up

Sign-up/in experience, such as account requirements and communications. What is it like to first approach these systems as a user?

Notes below about CheckThis, Marquee, Medium, Smore, and Tackk.

CheckThis

Homepage
CheckThis has recently (mid to late September?) radically changed its initial approach experience. Where they once simple had a page ready to start editing, they now start off with a harder sell (“Every poster has a story”), a matrix of posters, and a sidebar feeding Facebook comments. This also marks a decision by CheckThis to call their pages “posters” in a way similar to Tackk’s decision to call pages “tackks”.

Since the initial landing is no longer on a page-ready-to-edit, there is a bright green “Create +” button in the upper right and a bright green “Create your poster” button below the pitch.

Editing the content of the template to create a poster is very easy, just click and type away. No sign-in is required until you “Publish” a page. Even then, you can choose a “no edit” option to publish the page anonymously and never be able to edit it again. If you do want to be able to revise your page, then you need to link CheckThis with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account (Facebook gets the big button, though).

Marquee

Homepage
On first approach, Marquee presents a homepage with a guided path to getting started, “Let’s make something nice together,” and an illustrated list of key features (Dropbox integration, beauty, sharing).
Username
The emphasis in Marquee is focussed on the user. To create an account the user is guided to fill out a username box that is prefixed with “marquee.by/” which reinforces this message that your username will be an important part of your Marquee experience. You create that name (with nice immediate feedback about whether the name is available) and click the “get started” button.

On the sign-up page that follows you can link your account to Twitter or Facebook, or create a separate Marquee account with an email address.

User Profie
Once the account is ready, you land on a series of pages with very simple requests that fill out your profile information (full name, hometown, description, photo, cover photo). Then you land on an empty profile page with a plea to “make something nice together.”

Medium

Homepage
The home page is simply a stunning image with “Your text here” in the middle, a small pencil icon in the lower right, and a blue twitter sign-in button in the upper right. Oh yes, and a big “M” logo.

You can edit the “Your text here” to be whatever you like. You can click on the pencil to reveal an editing mode which will also allow you to upload whatever picture you like for the background.

Read This
Clicking the twitter sign-in just performs a twitter login, or if you are already logged in with twitter, generates a “sign up” with Medium. Then you get a “Thanks for signing up!” page and a chance to read a Medium manifesto. No other functionality is available to the masses just now.

The link with twitter allows Medium to:

But not:

That’s a lot of privacy to give up just for the chance to create a web presence.

Smore

Homepage with account
For folks landing without an account the home page is a lengthy, though pleasant, sales pitch including a video and some key features. A slideshow presents a few representative flyers from Smore, and next to the “Currently in beta” warning is a soft red “Try it now” button.

Clicking the “Try it now” button exposes the fact that you can sign up for a Smore account by linking your Facebook account or signing up for a direct account. The Facebook link warns that “This app may post on your behalf, including new flyers you designed, flyers you viewed and more.” Without Facebook you are just required to share your name, email, and create a password.

Once you are logged in you are directed to a new homepage, and this is the one you will see whenever you visit Smore until you log out. This homepage does away with the heavy pitch, including just a brief “Use Smore to get the word out,” and a big orange “Start a new flyer” button. Below this invitation is a matrix of “Featured Flyers” from other users that can serve as examples of what can be done with Smore.

Tackk

Homepage
First approach to Tackk lands the user directly in the editing environment. There is a sense of depth to the environment, with tabs on two sides of the window, an editor with color swatches, and a top bar with a short URL. Depth, but also a bit of confusion, where to start? The eye is so attracted to the interface elements that it takes a few seconds to notice that the page itself, behind all that interface, is offering both guidance “Place Your Title Here” and a sales pitch “Tackk is the newest format to creatively share anything on the web.”

There is a “Login” button in the upper right, but it is unclear whether that is a demand or an offer (do I have to log in to continue?). Can I even log in without ever having registered? How can I register?

There is also a “New Tackk” button up there, similarly ambiguous. (Do I have to create a “New Tackk” or should I just edit this one?)

All in all, it is a bit confusing partly because of all the paths forward that are offered. Tackk ends up looking “technical.”

Login
Clicking on the Login button produces a “login/sign up” popup. It might appear at first glance that creating an account is as simple as entering email and password, but that does not work. Instead, at the bottom of the popup is a lower-contrast “or create an account with us” option that leads to the real sign up option. Options for linking Tackk to Facebook or Twitter accounts are also available.

The actual “sign up with us” popup asks for email, password, and an agreement to terms of use and privacy (that nobody actually reads). Oddly, when I tried to use this to create an account I ran into an error (I had used too short a password) and then the system refused to create the account after I fixed the error. Clicking the “Sign Up” button did nothing. Reloading and retrying did not work. I had to switch browsers to Firefox, maybe because I’d used Safari in the past to log into a different Tackk account?

Profile Page
After a successful login, you are taken to a profile page, of sorts, without personal information but with a list of your existing Tackks. For a new user, this list is empty except for a big “create new tackk” button. Clicking on this button brings you full circle, right back to what appears to be the homepage, with the editing environment, only now your email address instead of the “Login” button is in the corner.

Comments

You are welcome to edit this page if you have the password. You can also choose to just leave a comment below, if you like.

Nebibe / 06 December 2012 / 16:57

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Eric Celeste / Saint Paul, Minnesota / 651.323.2009 / efc@clst.org