In my campaign against websites that force you to do things you don’t want to do (see “Don’t make me …”), I’ve found yet more evidence that compulsion is counter-productive.
The most obvious thing these websites force you to do is to set up an account, whether you are a long-standing customer or just want to buy one thing and get on with your life.
There’s a name for it: the login wall. A recent article by the Nielsen Norman Group of usability experts says:
“In our many usability tests, we have rarely seen users more annoyed than when they come across a login wall.”
Every time I’m asked to set up an account on a website I ask why. Often I get no answer. Occasionally someone admits it’s a pain, but says “our marketing department want it”. Sometimes the reply is “Well, all sites do it, don’t they?”.
Most annoying of all is when they tell you it’s for your benefit, so that next time you won’t need to fill in your details. But there won’t be a next time, not if I can help it.