How to optimize login screens

How to optimize login screens

Spending time to optimize login screens can hugely improve your websites overall performance. A seamless and efficient login page not only simplifies the user experience of the website but will also improve the important metrics you care about. In this essay, we will dive into the strategies for optimizing the login process, with a particular focus on A/B testing and practical examples to illustrate potential improvements.

Understanding the Significance of Login Optimization

Before diving into optimization strategies, it’s important to understand why login optimization matters. Unlike other pages in your website, the login and signup screens will be accessed by everyone at least once. A confusing or clunky login experience will cause frustration which could result in people abandoning the login or signup process. Just think back to how frustrating it was the last time you failed to come up with a complex enough password.

Streamlining the User Interface

A cluttered or complex login page will deter users from completing the login process. Non-standard design approached such as asking for the email, then showing the password field once the user clicks next (similar to Google Login) can break the flow and add confusion. Other patterns such as lots of text on a signup page can overwhelm a user when they just want to get signed up. A/B testing can be used to experiment with different UI designs and identify the most effective one.

For example, consider two variations of a login page. Version A could feature a simplified design with a clean layout, while version B might include additional elements such as tooltips or help icons for first-time users. By comparing user engagement and completion rates between the two versions, you’ll be able to determine which design performs better with their audience.

You may also discover through A/B testing that removing a “clear form” button from next to the “submit” button improves signups drastically.

Reducing Friction Through Social Logins

Social logins provide a convenient alternative to traditional email/password based logins. 52% of people have now used social logins, and up to 87% of people have seen them at some point or another. But does that mean it’s right for your users?

Login A/B testing can help assess the impact of the social login options such as Google, Facebook, or Twitter (now called X). Version A could use the traditional email/password login, while version B introduces social login buttons prominently on the login page.

Analyzing the user interactions with both versions will reveal insights into user preferences and allow you to optimize login rates. If version B shows a significant increase in user signups or logins, it may indicate that social logins reduce friction and enhance the overall user experience.

While we might think more options is good for user signups and login, we may also discover that presenting too many options could actually have a negative effect.

  • “Which social login did I use? Damn, it wasn’t that one…”

  • “Did I sign in by email and password?”

  • “My Facebook account got locked. I can’t log in!”

These are all possible scenarios, and only through testing will we really discover if social logins actually improve the conversion rate.

Implementing Progressive Profiling

Use progressive profiling to build a complete picture. Example of a long vs a short form.

Most registration forms often demand extensive information upfront which can overwhelm users and discourage them from completing the signup process.

Progressive profiling is a strategy where users are prompted to provide minimal information upfront, with additional details being collected over time.

In an A/B test scenario, version A might retain the traditional lengthy registration form, while version B adopts a progressive profiling approach.

Analyzing completion rates and user feedback can then highlight the effectiveness of progressive profiling in encouraging users to sign up and engage with your website.

Enhancing Security Without Sacrificing User Experience

With security being such an important aspect of your website, you might look in to ways of improving security alongside optimizing login rates.

One option would be to change password requirements. For instance, you could remove special character and number requirements and just require the password be a little longer.

A larger increase in length creates an enormous difference for creating difficult passwords. As a rule of thumb, each bit corresponds to doubling the number of possible options (and so doubling the amount of work an attacker needs to do).

This makes a 16 character, letters-only password (91 bits) 8 million times harder to guess than the 12-character (68 bits) one.

Source: 1Password

Passwordless login

Example of a magic link to optimize login flows

Passwordless login involves using magic links. These are often emailed to users and require them to click a link which redirects them back in to the app, but this time as a logged in user.

This is a more unique approach to authentication and security, however cuts out the need for a password, social logins, and multi-factor authentication. As mentioned before though, less common signup processes add unnecessary friction.

A good A/B test would help in determining whether this approach is a valid one for your users by having the control group (Variant A) use a normal login, and Variant B use the Magic Link login. By then comparing the number of users who have viewed the respective login options, and then successfully logged in would give you a good indication of the conversion rate.

One drawback though revolves around ensuring that the same users view the same variant. A user who signed up using Variant B (magic link) would always need to view variant B to get back in.

Iterative Testing and Continuous Improvement

Investing time to optimize login screens requires iterative testing and continuous improvement. As you’ve seen, there’s many different options for testing your login screen, and all come with their pros and cons. It’s for you to use A/B Testing Tools to explore and discover what works best for your website.

Simple A/B Test offers an almost no-code approach to testing your website. You can quickly get set up for free and start testing your hypothesis using our easy-to-use tool. With so many different ways to optimize login screens, it would be a shame to not streamline this process!

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