Sign-Up Page Design Best Practices for SaaS: How to Create Frictionless Sign-Up Forms and Increase Conversions
In UX design, the sign-up page is the gateway to your product. If designed poorly, it could negatively affect your user experience and discourage visitors from trying your product.
Let’s discuss some best practices to improve sign-up pages and make them more engaging and visitor-focused.
- A sign-up page is the first step of your user acquisition funnel. It’s where you convince people to try your SaaS product by signing up for a free trial.
- Sign-up pages are a prime opportunity to show potential customers how they can benefit from the product.
- Keeping your signup page simple will reduce friction and increase your signup conversion rate.
- An effective signup page contains a few elements: a persuasive headline, a short registration form, and a strong call to action button.
- Use a Single Sign-On (SSO) to create a frictionless signup flow and help new users cut back on the signup time.
- Avoid asking users for an upfront payment before trying your product. Focus on building trust first, then ask for payment later.
- Use social proof to gain credibility, build trust, and prompt users to complete the signup flow. Social proof can be anything: testimonials, a major win, customer photos, or videos.
- Consider using a modal window on your landing page to create a quick signup process and eliminate distractions.
- Use separate words to differentiate the “sign up” and “sign in” processes to avoid confusing users on which action to take first.
- Too many fields? Split your sign-up process to make it easy to complete, uncluttered, and readable.
- Add a progress bar in your sign-up form to motivate users so they feel like they’re making progress and getting closer to completing their tasks.
- Optimize and constantly A/B test your signup forms on multiple user segments till you find what works best.
- Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can design, test, and improve your signup pages to increase conversion.
What is a signup page?
A signup page is a page on your website where users can sign up to use your product. They’re designed to capture the email addresses of visitors and make it easy for them to access your product.
Usually, a signup page contains a form (a signup form), where users can register by providing necessary information, such as their first and last name.
Why does sign-up page design matter?
As part of our State of SaaS findings, we reviewed over 100 SaaS applications and discovered that a poorly designed signup flow leaks prospects to the competition.
A friction-based signup flow has a bounce rate of 76%, which in the end, could lead to a loss in revenue. Here are other reasons why a sign-up page matters:
- It marks the start of your user onboarding process, which directly impacts user activation.
- They’re designed to make website visitors comfortable enough to sign-up for your product.
- Signup pages set the tone and establish your brand as a professional, trustworthy business.
- It creates an amazing first-time user experience and provides an opportunity to show potential customers the benefits of your product.
Sign up page design best practices
The sign-up page is the first impression that your brand has on a potential customer, so it’s important to do everything possible to make it memorable and compelling.
Let’s go over some of the best practices to help you design an effective one:
Keep the sign-up form as short as possible to reduce friction
Several studies report that shorter forms with fewer form fields yield better results, like increased conversions.
The trick to designing a good one is to keep it simple and free from clutter. Remove all optional questions and unnecessary steps that can cause friction.
Once the user gets inside the app, guide them during the onboarding experience and collect customer data with in-app microsurveys, welcome pages, etc.
A perfect example of a short and straightforward signup page is Asana. On the signup form, all Asana asks for is your work email. They waste no precious time and leave the cognitive effort down to a bare minimum.
Of course, the Asana team knows that more information is required to customize each user’s experience, so they ask for it later, during the onboarding process.
Complementing the ease of signup is the minimalist design of the form. The microcopy is easy to read and highlights what you get after you sign up.
Offer single sign-on options (SSO)
Use Single Sign-On (SSO) to create a frictionless signup flow for new users.
With an SSO, a user can log in to multiple apps with one login credential, thereby saving them time and energy.
Miro is an example of a company expanding its SSO options and helping users save login time. They make sure every SSO option provided is relevant to their users; in this case, Slack or Apple.
Don’t ask for credit card info and payment details upfront
Asking for an upfront payment leaves users hesitant to sign up. It can increase your product’s perceived value but lead to fewer signups.
There are pros and cons about which approach is better, but in general, unless your product has an extremely steep learning curve, go for a no credit card trial.
Focus on building trust instead; let the user become comfortable using your product so much so that payment comes naturally to them.
Highlight social proof within the signup page
Use social proof to build trust and prompt users to complete the signup flow.
Social proof can be anything: testimonials, a major win, customer photos, or videos. No matter what it looks like, it must sell the product’s benefits and guide users to discover the Aha moment quicker.
Social proof gives credibility to our product. Plus, there’s something convincing about seeing the smiling faces of actual customers.
Consider using a modal window for a quick and non-interruptive signup
A modal window is a UI element used to display information without interrupting a user’s experience.
The background is completely blurred out to eliminate distractions.
Canva uses a modal window to make their signup flow super easy. Right after a user clicks on the signup button on the home page, a modal window pops up.
To avoid interruption on the user interface, the registration page overlays the homepage so you can continue working.
Use different terms for “sign in” and “sign up”
Don’t confuse users by placing the words “sign up” and “sign in” side-by-side. Since they’re similar, there’s often a mix-up about which to use and when.
Use different terms for each page so that users can easily differentiate between the two actions. For example, instead of saying “Sign In,” say “Login.” Consider using other terms like “register,” or longer words like “create an account.”
This makes it clear that each step is different and needs to be taken in an order to continue using your product: first, sign in; then sign up.
Split the sign-up process into multiple steps if it’s too long
Too many form fields may drive visitors away.
If you can’t shorten the signup form, consider splitting it into multiple steps using several screens and capturing the relevant personal information.
Adding a progress bar also helps to keep users informed and encourages them to complete their tasks.
Airtable is the perfect example of a signup process split into multiple steps. The first page is pretty straightforward: just a name and password field.
Always opt for multi-choice where users can quickly select their answers rather than open text fields that will increase friction. It’s also a great way to customize their product to fit the user’s needs.
The whole form is tilted toward helping users get up and running as quickly as possible and tackle the tasks they signed up to get done.
Use progress bars and steps to keep users motivated
Progress bars are a great way to keep users motivated. They show how much of a sign-up process has been completed and encourage users to finish what they started.
If you have a long signup form, use a progress bar in every step so that users feel like they’re making progress and getting closer to completing their goal.
Fullstory breaks down its long signup process into four steps with a prominent progress bar.
Avoid asking for usernames and ask for emails instead
Don’t ask for usernames and email addresses if you don’t need both.
It’s more important than ever to create a frictionless signup flow, and asking for usernames as well as passwords can cause friction.
For one, users have to think long and hard to create a unique username. This wasted time increases the time to log in, time to value (TTV), and churn rate.
Use microcopy to set user expectations
Microcopy is the small print that provides instructions, guidance, and information to your users.
A good microcopy on your signup page can help the users complete the signup by reassuring them what they are signing up for.
Loom uses a reverse trial pricing model and uses microcopy to mention that the users will have access to the Loom Business account during the trial, and they can then continue to use the product for free if they don’t want to use a paid subscription.
Provide instant data validation
Instant validation is a tool used to ensure that the data a user inputs into a signup form field is acceptable, complete, and non-redundant.
This can be useful to help users correct errors on the signup page faster, especially for forms with different values—for example, “Email” and “Password.”
Or if you have international users who may not understand a language or character set well enough to type in a valid email address or password.
Add company branding to the sign-up page
Your login page is an extension of your brand. By incorporating visual elements such as your logo, color, and typography, you build brand awareness and help users differentiate you faster.
You can also use your login page to announce product benefits or updates, just like Calendly.
Optimize and constantly A/B test your signup form
The best way to constantly optimize your sign-up forms is through A/B testing.
First, segment your users into two groups. To one group, show the optimized version of your form (variation), and to the other user segment, show the original design (control). Then, measure how each group responds to your new signup.
After testing, you can see what works best for your users and adjust accordingly. Keep in mind that you should change only one variable at a time.
For example, you can change the number of form fields requested, the type of info requested, the color, or even the font used.
This way, you can point out the reason for a conversion increase instead of guessing.
Best sign-up page design examples
Since sign-up pages play a critical role in increasing conversions, designing a great sign-up takes more than just putting components on a page.
To help you stay inspired, here are some signup page examples that just make sense.
Mailchimp keeps its sign-up page short and simple. Form fields are restricted to three, and they recommend using the email address as a username. This has been mentioned earlier as good practice.
With great microcopy, they show the password requirements to users before submission.
And if you ever get an error message, you can unmask the password with a tiny eye icon to make sure you didn’t make any typos.
LeadInfo’s signup page follows a key UX design principle: simplicity.
They start with a powerful headline that highlights their customer’s pain point, then ask for an email address with a good CTA.
Visitors are assured that they can sign up for free with no upfront payment. And then, motivated with a free 14-day trial to test the product.
GetResponse uses a simple, direct language that’s free of fluff. Anyone reading this copy can easily understand their product without waiting for further explanations.
They highlight the benefits and value proposition of the product, reminding customers why they need it and the problems it’ll solve.
Plus, the brand reassures users that they can start for free without their credit card and cancel at any time they wish to. This promise of simplicity increases customers’ trust in the platform as they have to bear no risk.
As an online form builder, Typeform advocates that online forms can be beautiful, people-friendly, interactive, and built without coding.
The SSO login options make it easy to sign up. And if you already have an account, you can click on the login button to switch to the login page.
Then, there’s the image on the right that sells you an adventurous lifestyle; a life of relaxation while Typeform does the work for you.
Lastly, Typeform’s signup page reflects the company’s brand identity: simple, minimalist, and human. This should be the primary objective of every signup page.
A sign-up page plays a critical role in conversion and user retention rates. You can have the best UI design, the best user experience, and an amazing product, but without an effective sign-up form, you won’t get any conversions.
Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can design, test, and improve your signup pages to increase conversion.