We recently launched a new registration process. Here’s how

Registering for a website should be quick, simple and easy. That wasn’t the case on the RSC Education website. The user experience wasn’t the best; the process was long and complex. So the question was: how could we improve it?

An illustration of a person looking at online data

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To tailor registration to you, our audience, we explored a few options

Step 1: discover and describe

The first step was to find out who was registering for the website and how they were accessing the registration process. This would help us to establish what is called the user-journey.

A lot of different people, from secondary school teachers to general chemistry enthusiasts around the world, register for our website. Registration needed to be more tailored to these different audiences.

Our initial concept was a pre-screen step. Registrants would answer a few questions to quickly determine who they are. This would present them with a more tailored experience during and after registration, asking only questions relevant to them.

Initially we had two routes to navigate through the pre-screen stage.

  • Version a would ask where they are located and then ask for their profession.
  • Version b was the reverse of this and would ask their profession and then establish their location.

Step 2: design and test

We mocked up the pre-screen concept using interactive boxes on a PowerPoint. This was useful to communicate our idea during user testing of the registration process.

In the first stage of user testing, we worked with eight users across the UK to evaluate and refine our idea. One of the main aims was to establish the best order for a user to navigate the pre-screen step, version a or version b. We showed half of the participants version a and the other half version b and then compared the user experience for both, in what’s called A/B testing.

What we learned

  • The best order for our user-journeys was version b. It was more friendly and inclusive of the website’s main user demographic of teachers and technicians.
  • Adding the option for middle/preparatory schoolteachers and changing student to school student removed confusion.
  • Clarity about access to all of our resources, both primary and secondary, upon registering was important.

Step 3: develop, test and launch

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Getting the registration experience right involved collaboration

With the best user-journey identified, we worked with front-end developers to design a fully interactive prototype of the whole process.

Once built, we completed a second stage of user testing with six users across the UK. They told us the new process was clear and easy to use – success! Now we were ready to launch the new process.

We couldn’t have done it without you

Of all the steps in the development of the new registration process the most important was user-testing. Feedback from those who will be using your process in the real world is vital.

Thank you to everyone involved in the process of developing the new registration system.

What’s next?

We are continually making improvements. So pop back to our news channel and keep an eye on our Twitter feed to stay up to date.

One of our next projects is looking at our newsletters. If you’d like to take part in any future user testing or give us your feedback, contact us here.