I’ve just discovered a new site called Geni. The site is all about genealogy and building your own family tree. The first thing you do when you enter the site is to start building your own family tree, and naturally you start with yourself. You enter your name and email address and without hardly realizing it you have started you family tree and signed up for the web application at the same time!

In all web application requiring users to sign up before they can use it. One big barrier is to get the user to actually sign up in the first place. By instantly giving her some kind of gratification, like in the Geni example, you significantly lower that barrier. The user only have to enter a minimum, and in this case very relevant, amount of information before they can reap their rewards. No bloated forms to fill out. You just get started right away.

All other information you need from the user can be added later, when the user’s already up and running. After having invested time and effort in the application she is much more likely to give away more information about herself.

Do you have other examples of web applications who has managed to make the sign up process almost invisible?

External links