Try the new login and account creation on Wikimedia projects

An account creation and login process that is simple and pleasurable to use is a must-have for engaging more contributors to Wikimedia projects. On just Wikipedia’s English-language version, more than 3,000 people sign up for an account on an average day. These interfaces are often the first time a new editor interacts with the site, beyond consuming content.

We’re happy to announce that, starting today, users of all Wikimedia projects will be able to try a new look for our account creation and login. For about a week, we’re asking all Wikimedia volunteer editors to give the update a try and help us spot any nagging bugs or errors in translation. We’ll then enable the new forms as the default on all our wikis.

The new account creation (mockup)

The new account creation (mockup)

Help test the new forms

If you’re a current or prospective member of a Wikimedia community, we need your help. Please give the new interfaces a try, report bugs, or leave comments for us on your wiki’s preferred noticeboard.

We’re providing this week-long testing period–instead of simply rolling out the new interface with less advance notice–to get help making sure our localizations are correct and the interfaces will be bug free for the 800 or so wiki communities we support.

Both links above are to our largest and most active community, English Wikipedia, but if you’re a contributor to any other project, you can try out the new forms by simply appending &useNew=1 to either URL on your favorite wiki. You can also find more detailed, step-by-step testing instructions if you’re willing to go a little deeper with testing the forms.

How we got here

The new login (mockup)

The new login (mockup)

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Editor Engagement Experiments team has been optimizing these forms, using weekly controlled tests to measure the impact of our new signup form and iterate on our ideas. (See our original announcement.)

Overall, the results of these experiments were encouraging. Using English Wikipedia as our proving ground, our most successful experiment gained around 800 additional signups over a two week period. The relative increase in conversion was 4 percent, from 28 percent to 32 percent of users successfully creating an account after visiting the signup page. The total number of new users gained will change based on seasonal trends. We also decreased the number of errors which held up users after they submitted the form by 14 percent.

This interface redesign marks the first time MediaWiki core (the platform shared by all our projects) is using the new form styles that we have experimented with in account creation, our new onboarding experience for Wikipedia editors, and in other features. The patterns we’re introducing via the new account creation and login, codenamed “Agora” by the Wikimedia Foundation design team, will now be able to be reused in a more standardized way by MediaWiki developers.

The redesigns we’re introducing to login and account creation are hardly radical. Simple use of typography, color and vertically-aligned form fields are not what could be called bold innovation in design. Nonetheless, we’re extremely happy to be releasing an experience that will make signing up and logging in less of a burden for the many contributors to Wikimedia communities, and thus enable them to create great, free educational resources.

Steven Walling,
Associate Product Manager

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37 Comments on Try the new login and account creation on Wikimedia projects

williammeyer 1 year

youhave amistakein yourbiogofallison steele. Ceil loman was a personality on the tedsteeleshowon WOR chan 9 NY in the 50′s. Ted
divorced allison and married Ceil

Rags 1 year

You have my permission to delete my previous remarks: I can see that my intention may not be clear, partly due to the punctuation not showing. You can tell, I think, that I have a problem with Facebook. I understand the attraction, driven by controlled experimental results, of riding coattails to greater onboard stats, but I think this strategy may come back to bite, longterm. Wikiculture is DIFFERENT. BE different. Viva la differance!

Rags 1 year

Thank you for accepting comments from a user not logged in. I want to jump on the bandwagon, here. I am no longer active on enWP, but only due to hardware issues. Facebook, however, i DETEST. There is a small but growing cadre of us, and if I didn’t have confidence in the integrity of the mgt at Wikimedia Foundation, I would steer clear of logging in solely on the basis of visual similarity. I was heartened by Steven Walling’s statement, above, “…extremely unlikely…for-profit social media…dubious record…” Amen, and amen.

obaji onyekachi 2 years

I WANT TO SIGN AND IS NT GOING

Blaisorblade 2 years

Actually I got the same impression – the Log in button looks very much the same as Facebook somehow, maybe because that’s the Facebook theme color (but I’m not sure). However, I couldn’t say what’s Wikipedia theme color, otherwise I would suggest it for the button. Also, why does the other button have that weird green color?

G.B.CHANDA 2 years

I was given this website :

http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/user_talk:G.B.CHANDA

I opened an account as: G.B.CHANDA . I am unable to open the page.

{{ Help }}

gabriel.chanda@unza.zm

anjuagarwal 2 years

I have tried a lot you must log in at the email given

Steven Walling 2 years

Hi Kevjonesin,

If my response seemed flippant let me rephrase: we don’t just expect users to get the message based on our assumptions about the design. This kind of issue is precisely why we ran multiple controlled, randomized tests of the new form’s style on account creation. The results of those tests were that, in every version where this large, blue button style was present, signup rates increased compared to the previous version. If the theory is that users would not know which website they’re on because of this button, there are also other prominent brand elements of Wikipedia still present, including the logo and wordmark, the signup call to action button, etc. We could even quite easily change the page title to be “Log in to Wikipedia” (or the appropriate sitename) instead of just “Log in”.

Steven Walling 2 years

Do you have a reason why it is not advantageous, beyond the fact that it is common?

User:Kevjonesin 2 years

Expecting users to have to “get the message” seems contrary to “an account creation and login process that is simple and pleasurable to use”. IMHO, I think the shade of blue field combined with a white sans-serif font will bring ‘facebook’ to mind for many (if not most) users. The ‘facebook’ logo has become a cultural icon and is parodied in many forms. Seems trivial to simply choose another color scheme which doesn’t attract such confusion. Unless one has come to invest [[WP:OWNERSHIP]] (ego) in that particular design element of course. Or is trying to make a [[WP:POINT]] about not allowing facebook’s de facto cultural pwnrship of blue and white sans styling. : } –Kevjonesin

User:Kevjonesin 2 years

I interacted with the new log in page today. The blue field combined with a white sans-serif font of the “Log in” button immediately brought [facebook] to mind. It caused me to hesitate and consider going back to the old login page as I was initially unsure as to whether I would be initiating an unwanted interaction with an external page (facebook). –Kevjonesin

Fitoschido 2 years

Please remove the super-tired blue glow around focused text boxes. I hate seeing it all over the Internet thanks to Twitter Bootstrap!

Guy Macon 2 years

Just tried the login, looks great and works fine on my 1920×1080 screen, full screen and in a small window. I like the layout. I disagree with the comment that having it narrow and to the left is somehow undesirable. It was clearly designed to avoid horizontal scrolling, which is a big win.

Tried both http and https versions. Both work fine, and (this is important) both look identical.

My login may have tested something that few logins test; I have a 64 character password. This caused no problems; at my screen resolution and text size it shows 33 black dots, with no overflow issues.

Usernames appear to be limited to 44 characters. Is this intentional?

The HTML source has wildly inconsistent indentation. Some sections have no indentation, some have two ASCII tab characters, neither of which is ideal. An often-used page like this should be indented properly.

For indentation, I like two spaces, but some folks like four or even (spit!) eight. No accounting for taste.

ASCII tab characters are Evil. See http://www.jwz.org/doc/tabs-vs-spaces.html

Whatever indentation you use, make it consistent.

Layout is pretty good as is, but here are my suggestions:

Instead of

“Remember my login on this browser (for 30 days)”

why not

“Remember my login on this browser for 30 days”

The parenthesis don’t add anything and look clumsy.

Also, “Username” and “Password” seem small and light. Perhaps using bold or bumping up the text size a bit would look better?

– I am [ User:Guy Macon ] on the English Wikipedia.

Anand 2 years

Suggestions -
* The login username should be made case insensitive.
* After login, we don’t return to the page we were on.

Hires an editor 2 years

The “login” button – I couldn’t find it, because it was unusual in its size and placement. Make it more normal, and more like regular web forms most people are used to seeing elsewhere on the internet…

ProtoDrake 2 years

Looks fine, and seems a little more user friendly than the previous set-up.

Steven Walling 2 years

Yep, returnto and other parameters will work just like normal.

Numbermaniac 2 years

It looks brilliant! It will be able to use terms such as &returnto=, correct? And can it do that for now, when I click try the new login form?

Kippelboy 2 years

I agree with Pete’s comment. The “reason” box could be a little more clear with a longer sentence. Good job, btw! :-)

Steven Walling 2 years

Hey Bron,

Quite right about mobile. Unfortunately our mobile skin, which includes a mobile-friendly version of login and account creation, is not yet enabled on Commons. I’ll try to figure out what the story is.

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