In a recent article, Jared Spool explained How Changing a Button Increased a Site’s Annual Revenues by $300 Million. The button in question, was changing a ‘Register’ link on an eCommerce site, to a ‘Continue’ one, allowing users to purchase without registering.
I have to say I’m amazed it makes such a difference, but then I’m someone who would always – given the chance – register, in order to speed up future purchases.
One other surprising issue brought to light, was the amount of duplicate registrations form people with various email addresses – 45% of all users had multiple accounts. Now a part of me wonders if a degree of these might be deliberate to abuse a first-time-buyer offer. I’ll shamefully put my hand up to abusing Amazon’s refer-a-friend discount in my early teens and must have had at least a dozen accounts just for that purpose.
However, if they are simply down to people not keeping track of which email address they’ve used, perhaps this adds support to the argument of using usernames rather than email addresses for logins. I’ve always designed logins to use email addresses on the assumption that everyone knows and can remember their email address, and if they haven’t registered then it will always be available, whereas your preferred username may be long gone. I always thought this was one less thing to remember but perhaps not.
Now I think about it, I do have a preferred username that I use almost everywhere, but have changed my primary email address a few times over the years. So might registering with a username – and providing a ‘forgotten username’ send-to-email link – be better? Though of course you still have to check each mail account you can think of til you find it…
I’d be interested in hearing people’s thoughts on usernames vs email address as login IDs. The only thing we can probably all agree on is that they’re better than numeric auto-generated IDs which remarkably some sites still use!