Regarding new registration interface

30 posts in this topic

Posted

Here's my situation. I have user names and display names enabled and I do not allow users to change their display name via the UCP. Instead I let them purchase the power to change their display name using points they've earned through posting via an app like ibeconomy. So now, if a user wants a different display name than their user name they'll have to wait until they've earned enough points?

Also, because of the display name history tool it will become easier for people to hack accounts now since you do not have to guess a person's user name. It'll be right there for you and now all you have to do is guess the password. I wish IPS would just let us choose to enable or disable things instead of getting rid of things all together because it makes things "simpler".

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Posted

There was no mention of private (extra) fields at registration time. I hope these will be maintained.

WRT display names, I will have to go back and re-read the blog. I was confused on first pass.

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Posted


There was no mention of private (extra) fields at registration time. I hope these will be maintained.



They said they can be added. >_>;

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Posted

Agreed. I had to re-read the blog entry slowly this time. :rolleyes:

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Posted


Here's my situation. I have user names and display names enabled and I do not allow users to change their display name via the UCP. Instead I let them purchase the power to change their display name using points they've earned through posting via an app like ibeconomy. So now, if a user wants a different display name than their user name they'll have to wait until they've earned enough points?



Also, because of the display name history tool it will become easier for people to hack accounts now since you do not have to guess a person's user name. It'll be right there for you and now all you have to do is guess the password. I wish IPS would just let us choose to enable or disable things instead of getting rid of things all together because it makes things "simpler".



I agree on both counts, I'm not crazy about these changes either in the name of making things "simpler". I've never had anyone complain to me, "Your registration process is so confusing!". I'd like to see an ACP option to leave the display name field visible on the registration page. I do have users who sign up and choose a unique display name. And I'm in the same boat as you--only subscribers can change their display name, and only so many times a year. This was done to cut down on people changing their name often, which can lead to confusion.

..Al
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Posted


I've never had anyone complain to me, "Your registration process is so confusing!".



Same here. In fact picking a user name, display name, password, email, and time zone have become pretty much a regular thing for me when registering on a forum. In fact I registered on a xenforo forum once and was like "Wtf, where are all the options?". I don't think too many people get "confused" with their being both a user name and a display name option. In fact the amount of people who do get confused by it are so small that they're probably the same people we all made fun of in grade school for not being able to do simple multiplication. What I'm saying is that it's not worth simplifying these things for a teeny tiny minority and in exchange compromise account security. Out of 15000 people who have joined my site (I acknowledge that half are probably bots but still) I can only think of 2 or 3 instances where a person put in the wrong user name or display name information and wanted it changed.

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Posted

Simplifying things helps everyone. We're not doing it to cater to stupid people. We're doing it to reduce confusion, reduce mistakes, and get more people to join your forums. Usability and simplicity help everyone regardless of ability.

There's a reason Facebook, Twitter, etc. have incredibly simple registration routines. It's proven to work.

It's all very well quoting your registration figures, but that doesn't take into account those users who might have given up and gone away, or not even bothered trying. Making it as simple as possible will help that.

And please - compromise account security? Does your email regularly get hacked because you use your email address to log in to gmail? If we relied on display names to prevent hacking, we'd be doing something very wrong.

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Posted


Simplifying things helps everyone. We're not doing it to cater to stupid people. We're doing it to reduce confusion, reduce mistakes, and get more people to join your forums. Usability and simplicity help everyone.


But when the people who are confused and make the mistakes are just the stupid people then you are catering to them. I mean look at the current registration form. Under user name it says very clearly "The name you will sign in with". Under display name it says even more clearly "The name that will be shown next to your topics, posts, etc." What confusion is there here? How can you possibly make a mistake from that, unless you are stupid? Overall, yes you're right that simplifying things helps everyone. In the registration interface removing the email address confirmation and time zone adjustment is an improvement (I personally don't care for the improvement, but hey I'll give you the points). Adding the ToS as a link instead of being forced to look at it before proceeding is a matter of opinion for people, but hey, I will give you that point as well just because. Other simplifications you've made in other blog entries I can agree with too(not all of them granted, but whatever), but in this particular case I don't understand why simplifying things here "helps everyone" because it certainly does not help me. When it clearly states in the registration form which name goes with what action any logical, literate human being should be able to understand it and not be confused by it or make any mistakes when joining the forum.

Additionally, IPB gives forum admins the option to completely disable display names, in fact I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that it's disabled by default upon installation (unless you "simplified" that as well). So if a forum admin intentionally enables display names on his forum then it should be acknowledged beyond a reasonable doubt that the forum admin expects users to fill in a display name of their choice upon registration, which in most cases will be completely different than their user name. Because while you say this:

And please - compromise account security? Does your email regularly get hacked because you use your email address to log in to gmail? If we relied on display names to prevent hacking, we'd be doing something very wrong.


I know full well that I would never want someone on my forum to know the user name I log in with into the forums. In fact (by coincidence) all my admins have separate user names than display names and it just adds a sense of security to my board. You're right it's not real security, but after seeing a couple threads on this forum about spammers brute forcing 2.3.x accounts I'd rather not have log in names accessible on the public side.

Furthermore, I believe you've only caused more confusion in the new interface. Think about it. A new user registers on the site and selects a user name, MemberA, which because of this change will also be their display name. You then allow them to change their display name in the UCP. Lets say he changes his name to MemberB. MemberB sees that his name has been changed across the forum. But when he comes back to log in with the site what user name will he type in? I can see a person (stupid or not) going both ways with this. They will either type in MemberA or MemberB and because on the public side during registration there was no indication that user names and display names are separate entities, they are likely to think that changing their display name in the UCP also changes the name they sign in with which is even more confusing than what you've got working right now. Of course, I fully expect you to rebut this by saying I haven't seen the design interface yet, but hey, I haven't seen it yet so I'm fully justified in making this point until you show it to me.


There's a reason Facebook, Twitter, etc. have incredibly simple registration routines. It's proven to work.


Facebook and Twitter are social networking sites which have their own appeal to pull people in aside from a simple registration. People don't join it because their registration process is so easy. What kind of stupid argument is that? It's a social networking site where all their friends are and it allows them to stay in touch with the world. No matter how many like buttons, status features, and profile enhancements you add to IPB, IPB will never be a social networking software(subtle hint to say that you should stop listening to customers who want IPB to be more like facebook). Besides, on facebook, I have to use both an email log in and I have to type in my name. On twitter I have to do an email and a screen name as well I believe(idk, I don't really use twitter). All I'm asking for IPB is that I get to type in two things as well. A user name and a display name both of which (as I already said like three times) are clearly distinguished in the registration form.

It's all very well quoting your registration figures, but that doesn't take into account those users who might have given up and gone away, or not even bothered trying. Making it as simple as possible will help that.


Fine you're right. My registration figures show nothing on the amount of users who didn't register because of the registration process. Of course I would argue that if they didn't have the attention span to complete a simple registration, then they probably don't have the attention span to read my tos or board rules meaning I'll probably ban them down the line anyway.


I apologize for being extremely adamant about this and if something I said offended you. In general I avoid complaining about things on here because when other customers do it it annoys me since they act like they should be treated like a god since they have money and can take their business elsewhere. I almost feel like a hypocrite for the comments I made (though I wouldn't threaten to go elsewhere, I'll just adapt my policies to whatever changes IPS makes), however, I do feel strongly that this change does more harm than good for some amount of your customers. Overall, we are of different opinions. I like to have options and freedom and not see key features I use taken away (avatar/photo, trash can, display names on registration form), but I guess those get in the way of your desire to reduce confusions and mistakes. In the end I don't expect you to listen to me at all, but I'll be satisfied knowing that my voice was heard. Once again, I'm sorry for any trouble I caused you.

I just want to end with this (again).
The name you'll sign in with. You can't use: [ ] | ; , $ < > "
vs
The name that will be shown next to your topics, posts, etc. This should be between 3 and 26 characters long.

This is NOT confusing!
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Posted

Personally I would be happy to do away with Display names completely. They get an ID / Name and that's it.

3DKiwi

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Posted


Personally I would be happy to do away with Display names completely. They get an ID / Name and that's it.



3DKiwi



%7Boption%7D

System settings > Members > Username Restrictions > Allow "Display Names"

Please, if you want to remove display names do it on your own forum.

Along with this there's no reason why they can't add a "Allow user to choose Display Name upon registration" option in the same setting group. Only argument against it is that it adds another check which isn't simple enough.

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Posted

Please, if you want to remove display names do it on your own forum.



I already have. I am voicing my opinion as I believe that I am entitled to do.

3DKiwi

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Posted


I already have. I am voicing my opinion as I believe that I am entitled to do.



3DKiwi



Well, alright then. If I may be so bold, why do you have such an opinion? Just because you yourself do not use it, what makes you think it's ok to get rid of the feature in it's entirety? I personally feel that vnc is silly and pointless, but I don't believe that IPS should completely drop it. I do wish they'd spend more time on other things but I'd never suggest that they drop that feature completely. IPS caters to a multitude of customers so they must keep the features that pleases the most people. And as I suggested earlier the option to have the display name entry on the registration form should be implemented as it caters to every single person as opposed to completely removing it (catering to idiots) or forcefully keeping it there (catering to people heavily use display names and encourage them to be separate from user names).

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Posted

Whoa. It's just forum software. Calm down!

For what it's worth. When people start shouting, that's when I stop listening.

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Posted

cdkey - Sorry I'm not entering into a debate. I voiced an opinion. If you don't agree then that's fine.

3DKiwi

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Posted


Whoa. It's just forum software. Calm down!



For what it's worth. When people start shouting, that's when I stop listening.



Sorry, I'm just trying to understand other's reasoning and logic. I apologize if I'm coming off as rude, though personally I don't feel I'm doing so. Is it wrong for me to try and understand other's viewpoints and additionally refute them and then explain my own? I presented to this board an opinion/viewpoint with additional reasoning. One person agreed with me and another person refuted me by bringing up irrelevant(which I acknowledge is a matter of opinion) examples and silly (or so I felt) claims. So, as is logical for any human being to do, I refuted him by bringing up my own examples, and making my own claims which I felt hold more water than Rikki's. I've apologized profusely in this thread for the way I know that I'm coming off, but I'm not trying to come off as angry. You just feel that way because you're just reading text, and that text opposes your viewpoint which causes you to get defensive, as a result making you think that I'm being aggressive towards you. I already said that I hate to complain, but I wish that in the few instances I did that I wouldn't get a response from IPS saying that they stopped listening. Well, I did already say in an earlier post that I fully expected it from you, but you could've at least tried to prove me wrong...and quite frankly at this point my expectation is that you will get more defensive, claim that I am attacking you when I'm trying to be reasonable, and then lock this thread.

Please, understand that I'm just trying to see eye to eye with you(when I say you, I mean you and your coworkers). I was given reasoning for your actions and I then took that reasoning and explained why that reasoning is wrong(in my opinion anyway). I also gave an example of how what you're doing can possibly have the opposite effect of what you initially intended. I don't understand how doing all of that has depraved me of the right to be heard by you unless you admit that you're just being stubborn.

In case it isn't clear enough at this point, I am extremely sorry for the way I am coming off. I actually work with someone who's been running forums for almost 10 years. From his experience he's told me that through emails and text he comes off as very mean and angry, but if we just talk over the phone he really is just a nice guy. I may be the same, and I assure you that I am calm and that if we were talking in person you would be able to see that.

As for my comment at 3Dkiwi, well, read below.


cdkey - Sorry I'm not entering into a debate. I voiced an opinion. If you don't agree then that's fine.



3DKiwi



Well, I guess that's good since if a debate started IPS would jump at the chance to lock this thread. That's what they always do when people start fighting and I still want rikki to reply to my post and explain to me why my ideas are wrong. Although, from what I've been taught, you don't have the right to voice an opinion if you refuse to defend it because that's just you admitting that your opinion is wrong. Orrrr I just have a huge ego. Dammit.

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Posted

I think it's important to remember that at the end of the day we make software that *many* different customers use, and we have to cater to all of those customers as best we can.

I can't think of...any?...sites that ask you for a login name AND a display name. This extra piece of data we have been collecting from users is confusing for new users and does not add much value to the software, outside of a few niche areas you could work around if you wanted (for instance, display name history, however you can already prevent members from viewing display name history if you felt a security issue might be exposed).

The display name/login name separation has *never* been about security, which is why we do not view this change with any security implications in mind. I think it's important to note also that the admin that installs the software cannot set a display name, so in YOUR display name history it's always going to have this same "issue" anyways (i.e. if you installed as "admin" and changed your name to "bob", it's going to show "admin" in the display name history as the first entry). Again, this functionality is not meant to be a security protection really, and if you are concerned, just prevent members from seeing the history.

Ultimately we are making a change we feel benefits the majority of our community. If enough people agree with you, we will revisit this change.

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Posted


I think it's important to remember that at the end of the day we make software that *many* different customers use, and we have to cater to all of those customers as best we can.


I know you're a busy person and I appreciate all the work you do here so I'm going to assume you were too busy to read this thread in its entirety so uh..here.

IPS caters to a multitude of customers so they must keep the features that pleases the most people. And as I suggested earlier the option to have the display name entry on the registration form should be implemented as it caters to every single person as opposed to completely removing it (catering to idiots) or forcefully keeping it there (catering to people heavily use display names and encourage them to be separate from user names).





I can't think of...any?...sites that ask you for a login name AND a display name. This extra piece of data we have been collecting from users is confusing for new users and does not add much value to the software, outside of a few niche areas you could work around if you wanted (for instance, display name history, however you can already prevent members from viewing display name history if you felt a security issue might be exposed).


First let me quote myself again.

I just want to end with this (again).


The name you'll sign in with. You can't use: [ ] | ; , $ < > "


vs


The name that will be shown next to your topics, posts, etc. This should be between 3 and 26 characters long.



This is NOT confusing!



Then let me pull up the Community Directory and find a few sites that ask for both user names and display names since you claim you can't think of any.
http://www.joelle.de/index.php?app=core&module=global&section=register&coppa_user=&termsread=1&coppa_pass=1
http://creative-central.com/site/index.php?app=core&module=global&section=register&coppa_user=&termsread=1&coppa_pass=1
http://www.nikonforum.se/index.php?app=core&module=global&section=register&coppa_user=&termsread=1&coppa_pass=1
http://www.cutterandtailor.com/forum/index.php?app=core&module=global&section=register&coppa_user=&termsread=1&coppa_pass=1
I thought I'd mention that at this point I realized most of the links I clicked don't work and one of them is actually a xenforo forum. :x
Olook here's one that only asks for one (http://www.archicadobjects.com/index.php?app=core&module=global&section=register&coppa_user=&termsread=1&coppa_pass=1)
Back to both
http://theskinnery.com/forum/index.php?app=core&module=global&section=register&coppa_user=&termsread=1&coppa_pass=1
http://www.deltaforum.org/DeFconX/index.php?app=core&module=global&section=register&coppa_user=&termsread=1&coppa_pass=1
Only one (http://www.anime-reflections.com/index.php?app=core&module=global&section=register&coppa_user=&termsread=1&coppa_pass=1)
Back to both
http://tutorialseeker.com/forum/index.php?app=core&module=global&section=register&coppa_user=&termsread=1&coppa_pass=1
http://www.ideon.cz/index.php?app=core&module=global&section=register&coppa_user=&termsread=1&coppa_pass=1

And well, that was just the Art and Design category. The majority of the links had both usernames and display names, which was then followed by sites that do not work, followed by sites whose registration link I could not find, followed by xenforo sites which was tied with sites that only ask for a user name. Although, maybe I just got lucky, who knows?


The display name/login name separation has *never* been about security, which is why we do not view this change with any security implications in mind. I think it's important to note also that the admin that installs the software cannot set a display name, so in YOUR display name history it's always going to have this same "issue" anyways (i.e. if you installed as "admin" and changed your name to "bob", it's going to show "admin" in the display name history as the first entry). Again, this functionality is not meant to be a security protection really, and if you are concerned, just prevent members from seeing the history.


*sigh* I regret making the security comment. I never meant for it to be the cornerstone of my argument and I already acknowledged that it's not a real form of security, just that it can be a sense of security. However, as the admin who installs the IPB if I think a couple steps ahead then I can install it with my intended display name and then in ACP I can go and change my user name of which no history is displayed anywhere and in fact that's what I would do. ;) Reviewing this thread again I can see why one would think I'm heavily concerned with security. Really though, I'd like a newly registering user to have the option to have a display name separate from a sign in name. I know that it's something I look for everytime I register on a site and I know the majority of my users have selected user names that are separate from their display names. Coincidence I guess but how harmful is it to add that little ACP option to add a display name form to the registration process or remove it?


Ultimately we are making a change we feel benefits the majority of our community. If enough people agree with you, we will revisit this change.



Fair enough I suppose.

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Posted

When Brandon said he couldn't think of any sites that ask for both username and display name, I think he meant non-IPB sites. Of course IPB sites will ask for them, because it's a default feature. That's obvious, isn't it?

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Posted


When Brandon said he couldn't think of any sites that ask for both username and display name, I think he meant non-IPB sites. Of course IPB sites will ask for them, because it's a default feature. That's obvious, isn't it?



Well he was smart enough to assume a distinction between software and sites in his post so I figured when he said sites instead of software that he meant all sites. But ok, I'm not one to conform to something just because everyone else is doing it, but I guess that's the direction you'd like to go with regards to registration. I understand now why you think what you're doing is right, so thank you for the clarification. :) I just wanted to understand the viewpoint and I do now. I still don't think it's confusing at all and I personally like the way it's currently set up, but I can see why it's in the best interest of IPS to copy everyone else as that would be an established standard as far as registration goes.

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Posted

Well cdkey, although i don't agree with all your points, I do wish that it was an on/off option as apposed to being completely removed.

I would prefer to allow my members to select a display name on registration, and agree that it isn't confusing.

But thats my opinion

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Posted

Agreed. IPB should never take away features like choosing a display name. They should have it as an option.

I actually believe twiter requires you to enter a full name as well as a display name. So that's that argument out the window.

The argument that not having it makes registering less confussing is quite rediculous. First of all you have the bother of going to your user cp to change ur display name. Second it takes up another display name change.

Then there is the bother of me having to tell my members how they change their display name. To me this has been the worst feature introduced to IPB 3.2.

At least have it as an option.

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Posted

Agree with cdkey and others above.

I have the option to change screen name turned off, so users are stuck with the screen name they choose on reg unless they ask me to change it.

A consistent identity is important on my site, as is confidentiality.

I am noticing most of my users are registering with different log-in names and screen names. I assume the log-in is something they use frequently and can remember easily, while the screen name has been chosen to preserve confidentiality of postings.

If they don't choose a screen name at reg, probably most of them wouldn't figure out they can choose a screen name different from their log-in until after they've posted. Then I'd have to change their screen names and their identities would change on the board. This is highly undesirable.

While my members would not hesitate to complain, not a single person has complained about the registration process. I thought it was among the better-designed IPB features myself.

(I think the COPPA approach in 3.2 is an improvement, but I don't use COPPA.)

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Posted


If they don't choose a screen name at reg, probably most of them wouldn't figure out they can choose a screen name different from their log-in until after they've posted. Then I'd have to change their screen names and their identities would change on the board. This is highly undesirable.



While my members would not hesitate to complain, not a single person has complained about the registration process. I thought it was among the better-designed IPB features myself.



(I think the COPPA approach in 3.2 is an improvement, but I don't use COPPA.)




My thoughts exactly. Would like to see a staff response on this. How would it be made clear to new members that they can change their display name? Also isn't making them have to go to their user CP make this more difficult? This also means a user has a taken up another display name which most boards have a limit on.

Yeah, I have never seen users complain about the registration process. I have seen them complain about other things in IPB but no this.

Agreed, COPPA is a big improvement. However this display name thing has really taken away from it for me.

Having it as an option in the admin cp makes everyone happy.

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Posted

Any more feedback on this from a member of staff. I was speaking to a member in staff in the Chat but I am still not convinced and yes I am being a moaner. One of the reasons IPB attracted me was because of the choice in being able to log in with a username and have a unique display name. I still have the same username for nearly every IPB board I am on however I have a unique display name on almost all of them. Having to go into the User CP makes the process more complicated, no?

Also how do you intend to let users who have never used IPB before know that they can change their display name and how will you let them know where to go?

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Honestly, so very few users ever actually use a different display name, or change their display name after registration, that while this may be something YOU as an individual user/admin want, it is NOT an expected important feature for MOST sites.

Please understand that we have to balance the uses of our software for everyone. For the vast vast majority of users, it is absolutely not necessary or intuitive to prompt for a secondary 'name' on a registration form. Some sites collect personal information and might request your real name and then a username, but I cannot think of any other major websites/software that ask you for both a username AND a display name. I'm sure put to the challenge people can come up with a handful of examples, but let's be honest - it's not a common practice or experience on the web. A username suffices for 99% of the websites that have a user for a username (such as a forum software package), without the need to ask for an additional user name to display instead of their actual username.

I do not believe for a second that it is a major inconvenience to users who DO wish to change their display name that they simply visit their control panel upon registration and do so. I also don't believe it would ever even occur to the vast majority of users who register on a site to consider doing this, so I think it's unlikely to put some sort of front-page notice about this to users. Naturally, you can still add help files using the built in FAQ system if you think this is important for users on your site.

At this time, we do not plan to change this 'back' to how it worked previously. Of course we will continue to monitor the feedback and will adapt accordingly.

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