Page MenuHomePhabricator

Remove choice to "Remember me" on account creation
Closed, ResolvedPublic

Description

Author: swalling

Description:
During our A/B testing of a new account creation experience,[1] we removed the "Remember me" checkbox as unnecessary on sign up and potentially confusing. This meant that the default would be that your first login session after signing up would just persist with the normal session, and we only give users the option to set the cookie for a longer period on login. This simplifies the number of choices thrown at the user on signing up, while retaining the preference on login. We should make sure that enhancement happens in core.

  1. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Account_creation_user_experience

Version: unspecified
Severity: enhancement

Details

Reference
bz47267

Event Timeline

bzimport raised the priority of this task from to Normal.
bzimport set Reference to bz47267.

During our A/B testing of a new account creation experience,[1] we removed the

"Remember me" checkbox as unnecessary on sign up and potentially confusing.

And the results were?

swalling wrote:

(In reply to comment #1)

> During our A/B testing of a new account creation experience,[1] we removed the
"Remember me" checkbox as unnecessary on sign up and potentially confusing.

And the results were?

We removed this on our second round of testing, IIRC, and conversions went up a percentage point, which was significant relative to the number of observations. (The Meta page with the raw data is at the shortcut R:ACUX.)

However, I wouldn't claim removing the checkbox alone was what resulted in this bump, since removing the checkbox also had secondary benefits which are likely more important: for instance, removing that option means the submit button is above the fold for more people.

More important than the testing data is that this option is not one that is really necessary on signing up. Login is a different story. Simplifying the user experience by removing unnecessary instructions, options, and checkboxes is A Good Thing.

To be clear: I'm not suggesting we should remove the option and automatically set the cookie for people. (We didn't do that during testing either, for what I think are obvious reasons.)

If the checkbox is only removed during account creation, this seems fine.

We should note, however, that even hyper-minimalist user interfaces (such as Google's or Facebook's) include a "remember me" or "stay signed in" checkbox during regular account login, even though it is clutter/bloat. It seems to currently be very expected on the Web.

That said...

(In reply to comment #2)

To be clear: I'm not suggesting we should remove the option and automatically
set the cookie for people. (We didn't do that during testing either, for
what I think are obvious reasons.)

Isn't there a reasonable argument to be made that by not offering this checkbox during account creation, a larger number of users will return to the site (in a few days or in a week or two) and not be logged in, hurting (or at least not helping) editor retention? I have no hard data to support this, it's just a thought.

swalling wrote:

(In reply to comment #2)
> To be clear: I'm not suggesting we should remove the option and automatically
> set the cookie for people. (We didn't do that during testing either, for
> what I think are obvious reasons.)

Isn't there a reasonable argument to be made that by not offering this
checkbox
during account creation, a larger number of users will return to the site
(in a
few days or in a week or two) and not be logged in, hurting (or at least not
helping) editor retention? I have no hard data to support this, it's just a
thought.

Yeah, it's a fair point. I think it's likely that we're hurting the retention of new people by not just automatically remembering people on both signup and login. Forcing people to log in again and check the box is less elegant than just remembering folks from the start. And some people do that: http://skinnywhitegirl.com/blog/ux-best-practices-login-persistence/452/ However, I doubt people would appreciate it much if we just did that, from a privacy and security perspective.

There are all kinds of things we do like this that hurt editor retention. Another big one is making email optional, and no doubt encouraging thousands of users to ignore the option and then never be able to recover their accounts if they forget their credentials. But we have thus far decided the ability to create an account without email outweighs the danger of letting users pass Go without it. And I think this is similar: for the majority of new people signing up, removing an unnecessary and potentially confusing checkbox on signup is a benefit that outweighs the danger you brought up, at least IMO.

Regarding the examples you brought up: Facebook, Google, Twitter, and lots of others follow the pattern I'm suggesting, where the "remember me" is only on login, not signup.

swalling wrote:

Merged, and soon to be ready for testing in production

Related URL: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/60765 (Gerrit Change I9b03d519af43de147bff0ac509a1154f67cd3a0a)