Great Ideas: Using Social Network Accounts for Log In

Luke Wroblewski disclosed a couple of numbers in Design Solutions for Log In Problems that were interesting (and close to what I had long suspected):

User Interface Engineering’s  analysis of a major online retailer  found that 45% of all customers had multiple registrations in the system, 160,000 people requested passwords per day, and 75% of these people never completed the purchase they started once they requested their password. Ouch.


When someone connects their Facebook or Twitter account to a Web site, they simply need to click the Sign In with Facebook or Twitter button to log in. Of course, they need to be signed in with the account provider to have things work with one click. But since 50% of Facebook’s 500 million active users  log on to Facebook in any given day  -odds are good one click is all it will take.

Over 50 percent of the internet users in the U.S. have a Facebook account. That’s a pretty good hit rate. What does that mean?

In one click, they’re in like Flynn? That’s great usability, yo!

In that same article, he talks about their approach of requiring people to type in their name so they can figure out which social account they used to sign in with Facebook. It’s a few less clicks, but there might be something here.

“Whenever I have to sign into Bagcheck, I’m filled with anxiety. Not because I don’t love the service, but because of the log in screen. I cannot remember whether I signed up through Facebook, Twitter or if I should know some special entry credentials.”

While I’m not in total agreement with their design approach, Bagcheck’s designers partnered with engineering to spend some time on this approach to see if this eases the friction for signing in. This partnership is important, because developers didn’t see it as “wasting time” but “gaining valuable insight into user  behavior.” You need to try ideas and measure results to learn from your users.

Once you enter your name, they know exactly which service you used, and hide the other service (here, Facebook is hidden).

Quora’s been trying a few different login ideas too to ease that friction. Many of them have some kind of auto-suggest or cookied identification as part of the process.

I would think once they login once with the social account, you could easily grab their profile photo and name and identify this is the account they signed in with, right?

Read the complete article…