Online, it’s important to do as much as you can to help guide your visitors. As Steve Krug’s book on usability “Don’t Make Me Think” famously suggests the idea that online, being clutter-free, simple and obvious is the way to produce a highly useful and usable design.
Having a simple and straight-forward design is important for more than just the web app itself – it’s also important for the signup page. It sounds obvious to say it, but a simple and beautifully designed signup page will increase the likelihood that a visitor will actually join and start using your product.
To help give you some inspiration when designing (or redesigning) the signup page for your product, we’ve collected some examples of sites that have all done a fantastic job.
Ballpark is an invoicing tool designed for freelancers and small businesses to help them track their time and get paid by clients. Their signup page does a great job of reducing the perceived risk of joining – by focusing on the free trial, the phrase “cancel anytime” and the testimonial from a current (relatively well-known) customer.
Web analytics tool Chartbeat has a signup page which also makes it clear what your monthly fee gets you, along with some reassuring copy that reminds you that you can upgrade or cancel whenever you want.
Presentation software Prezi has a signup page that uses colour effectively to help differentiate between their plans. Notice how the free plan – while still clearly available – is less pronounced than the “Enjoy” and “Pro” plans.
Basecamp, the project management software from 37signals, have gone a step further and actually removed the regular signup page – instead focusing on having the signup field embedded directly on the homepage.
The famous crowdfunding startup Kickstarter have a signup page that – while not necessarily beautiful – is highly functional. They’ve clearly thought about it from the user’s point of view – if you already have an account and wind up on the signup page, the login form is also conveniently within reach.
Email newsletter specialists MailChimp have a novel way of displaying their signup form. They’ve stripped away the navigation, footer and any distracting elements to leave just their mascot and the signup form. The result is a clutter free, beautifully minimalist signup page.
Shipment is a service that turns Dropbox folders into easily sharable projects for designers. Their signup page is clean and unfussy, but still has all the information you need to make a decision.
Accounting software Freshbooks have simplified the signup form as much as possible, to the extent that there are now only two fields – name and email.
Payments startup Stripe, whose biggest rival is the ultra-complicated PayPal, shows how simple and straightforward they are in comparison with their signup page. You can either fill in their ultra simple form, or even get started with their product and opt to fill in the form when you’re ready.
Rdio, the popular music streaming service, has one of the easiest signup processes of all. All you need is your email to get started – or, if you prefer, you can join using your Facebook account.
The IdeaLists is an invite-only network of talented writers, video producers, creative directors and more. While their signup form requires more information, it’s interesting to see how they’ve used beautiful typography and broken different form fields out into sections to keep it easy on the eye, and easy to fill in.
FundersClub is a service that makes it easier to invest in startups. Their signup page is beautifully designed and makes fantastic use of white-space to help separate out the elements, and they also do an impressive job of showcasing a few benefits to joining on the right-hand side of the form field.
Ruby on Rails, PHP and Node.js hosting platform Engine Yard has a signup page that supplements the typical form field with detailed, (yet easy to read) information on the benefits that you get from joining.
Wunderlist – the beautifully designed todo list – brings up their signup form as a modal on the homepage. When you’re ready to join, it appears in a lightbox. The benefit here is that it loads quickly, and helps to make sure that they keep the form field lightweight and small.
Web analytics company KISSmetrics have opted for a beautifully designed, minimalist homepage with the signup form baked right in. This is likely to lead to a higher conversion rate as it makes it clear how easy it is to get started.
Are there any elegant, interesting and thoughtfully designed signup pages that you think we should have included? We’d love to hear about what you’ve found.