One of the most frequent requests I receive on Holiday API is “How do I sign up for an account?” and “How do I get an API key?”

It throws me off because there is a giant “get started for free” banner near the top of the page. It stands out as it’s got a green background on a white page and it’s even above the fold!

Seems quite obvious yet it’s still one of my number one support requests.

What’s really interesting about it is that this particular site is the first time I decided to get clever with my login / sign up form.

Instead of having a separate sign up and login form, I opted for a single form. If the email address (username) that is entered isn’t already in the system, it functions as a sign up form, otherwise it tries to log you in.

It functions pretty well but it has never fit into the standard paradigm for how login and sign up pages appear to users. Seems people do expect there to be separate workflows, often times going as far as expecting separate pages.

To simplify this experience even further, my login / sign up form lacks a password confirmation. I thought it would make things a lot easier but seems to have added to the confusion.

Doesn’t help that the form doesn’t event have a title/heading to differentiate things (thought it did at one point…).

So I rolled the dice on being clever with a login / sign up form and have probably lost sign ups because of it.

Even though it works, it’s obviously confusing people (based on the support requests) and it’s something I am going to be addressing soon on the site.

Just goes to show that being clever doesn’t always translate to the user and their experience

I want to stand by the dual-purpose login / sign up for and act like it’s the future, but my users have spoken.