Mobile Signup (2012)


UX Design & Engineering

At, an educational community for kids, we faced the challenge of being many of our users' first social network. How do you communicate what a username and password is? How do you ensure the young user makes appropriate choices to protect their identity (eg, not using their real name; not using a password like 'password1')? Our signup completion rates were low. One parent sent us a video of their kid expressing confusion with the account creation screens. Younger kids did not understand why they should create an account, then got lost in the process when they were asked to do things like come up with a username.

In response to this challenge, I concepted, storyboarded, and wireframed a richly illustrated, tactile, more game-like account creation process centered around a metaphor of obtaining a membership card to a treehouse. This included procedurally generated usernames and passwords. The password would be revealed via a scratch-off on the virtual membership card. The scratch-off was intended to draw attention to the password as an important bit of information (that is, kids couldn't accidentally tap 'next' and skip past it). After this new signup was introduced, our sign-up completion numbers jumped from under 33% to more than 80%.