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Introduce confirmation step if user tries to register without email
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Description

Traditionally we have allowed people to register without specifying an emailaddress. I also suspect that it is unlikely that we will be able to get rid of that tradition. It does however pose a problem in that if you don't specify an email address, there is no way to recover access to your account if you forget your password. This happens quite a bit. I see a comment on the helpdesk or the village pump every two weeks or so. And that's if people don't just 'give up'.

We used to have lots of textual warning language on the login page, which wasn't really too readable either and was removed in the login page redesign a couple of years ago.

But what if we, when the user registers, and leaves the email field blank, we give him an intermediate step. "Providing an e-mail address is optional, but you if you choose not to provide an email address, please be aware that there is no way to recover access to your account if you ever forget your password"

  • I acknowledge that I cannot get access to my account if I forget my password
  • input field for email

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Event Timeline

@ovasileva given that Android is working on this now (T194420), I wonder if it would be a good time for us to investigate a bit and see how much effort it would take to do on web? I will add some designs in the next few days.

@ovasileva given that Android is working on this now (T194420), I wonder if it would be a good time for us to investigate a bit and see how much effort it would take to do on web? I will add some designs in the next few days.

setting as low priority for now, but we can review again later this year.

I wonder if it would be a good time for us to investigate a bit and see how much effort it would take to do on web?

From a technical standpoint it shouldn't be difficult. You'd create a SecondaryAuthenticationProvider that, when the appropriate conditions are met, returns a UI result from its beginSecondaryAccountCreation method asking for an appropriate AuthenticationRequest subclass.

I will add some designs in the next few days.

Note AuthManager doesn't give you much control over "design" though. You get an i18n message in the UI response that is intended for display as a header, and the AuthenticationRequests use a subset of HTMLForm fields.[1]

[1]: Types equivalent to 'text', 'password', 'select', 'check', 'multiselect', 'submit', 'hidden', and 'info'. Other properties equivalent to 'label-message', 'options', 'default', and 'required'.

Change 468474 had a related patch set uploaded (by TheDJ; owner: TheDJ):
[mediawiki/core@master] New account creation step to confirm registration without email

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/468474

Don't forget to add something about privacy, it may encourage people to add their email:

We are committed to never selling your information or sharing it with third parties for marketing purposes. Know more about our Privacy Policy.


@Nirzar proposed to make some further changes

Don't forget to add something about privacy, it may encourage people to add their email:

We are committed to never selling your information or sharing it with third parties for marketing purposes. Know more about our Privacy Policy.

Note that would best be done by overriding the core message in the WikimediaMessages extension. The core message should be generic enough to be usable by third parties who may not be so committed. ;)


@Nirzar proposed to make some further changes

Keep in mind that whatever changes get made have to work with the action API's action=createaccount too, and for people without JavaScript enabled, and on third-party wikis that have different authentication providers installed. In particular, having a button (rather than a checkbox) inside the popup thing seems very unlikely to be workable.

This is a cool idea! The Growth team is attempting something similar in T206365, in which we will ask for email again after the user creates their account, if they don't initially include an email. If this feature exists, that would be redundant.

When do you plan on advancing this feature (if there are plans)? If this existed in Korean and Czech, we might want to change our survey. But if our timeline is faster that the timeline for this task, we will leave our question on and see how many people end up filling in their email at the second ask. That might teach us something important.

This is a cool idea! The Growth team is attempting something similar in T206365, in which we will ask for email again after the user creates their account, if they don't initially include an email. If this feature exists, that would be redundant.

Not really. A user might decline to add his email the first time around in the flow for this task, but if reminded, might add it later.

Thanks, @Izno. Enough time has passed since my comment that our team agrees -- there's no reason not to ask for email in multiple places (unless it gets to the point where it is annoying to the user). It turns out, though, in our welcome survey that few users actually add their emails.

That said, we're actually now considering building a feature like the one described on this task, but in T215633. We may reuse code or designs discussed here.

Change 468474 abandoned by TheDJ:
New account creation step to confirm registration without email

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/468474

Can we merge this into T215633? (Or the other way around?)