Help users sign up

The sign-up form is often the first interaction with a form on your website. Good sign-up form design is critical, and a secure form is essential.

Let's look at a sign-up form, and how you can help users sign up on your website.

Keep the sign-up form minimal and only show the required form controls to create an account. Don't double up your form controls to help users get their account details right. Send a confirmation email instead.

Help users fill in their account details

You can help users fill in their account details by using the appropriate autocomplete attribute. Use autocomplete="email" for the email field, and autocomplete="new-password" for a new-password field.

Learn more about autofilling input controls.

You can also help users enter a secure password by offering a reveal-password <button>.
Learn more about the reveal-password pattern.

Ensure your sign-up form is secure

Never store or transmit passwords in plain text. Make sure to salt and hash passwords—and don't try to invent your own hashing algorithm.

Offer multi-factor authentication, especially if you store personal or sensitive data. SMS OTP best practices and Enabling Strong Authentication with WebAuthn explain how to implement multi-factor authentication.

Ensure users don't use compromised passwords. For example, use the API from Have I Been Pwned to detect compromised passwords, and suggest your users fill in a different new password, or warn them if their password becomes compromised.

Help users sign in

Let's see how to build a sign-in form to ensure users can easily sign in to your website.

Make the location of sign-up and sign-in buttons obvious. Ensure your form is usable on touch devices:

  • The tap target size of buttons is at least 48px.
  • The font-size of your form elements is big enough (20px is about right on mobile).
  • There is enough space (margin) between form controls, and that inputs are large enough (use at least padding: 15px on mobile).

Help users fill in their email and password

Help browsers and password managers autofill account details. Use autocomplete="email" for the email field, and autocomplete="current-password" for a current password field.

To help users manually fill in their account details, use type="email" for the email field to show the appropriate on-screen keyboard on mobile devices.

Use the required attribute for your email and password field so you can warn of invalid values when the user submits the form. Consider using real-time validation to help users correct invalid data as soon as they have entered it, rather than waiting for form submission.

Ensure users can see the password they entered

The text you fill in for <input type="password"> is obscured by default, to respect the privacy of users. Help users to enter their password, by showing a <button> to toggle the visibility of the entered text.

Learn more about implementing a password-reveal <button>.

Ensure your sign-in and sign-up forms are usable

Test your sign-in and sign-up forms regularly with real people to make sure that authentication works as expected. Use analytics and real user measurement (RUM) to collect field data, and tools such as Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights to run tests yourself. Learn more about testing for usability and gathering analytics data.

Ensure your forms work in different browsers and on different platforms. Test your form on different screen sizes, using only your keyboard, or using a screen reader such as VoiceOver on Mac or NVDA on Windows.

Help users change their account settings

Make sure that users can change every account setting, including email addresses, passwords, and usernames.

Make it transparent what data you are storing, and help users download all their personal data at any time. Ensure users can delete their account if that's what they want. Account management features such as these may be a legal requirement in some regions.

Ensure users can update their passwords

Make it easy for users to update their password.

Ask users for the current password before changing it, and send an email about a password change with the option to revert and lock the account.

Add the option to request a new password, and consider providing a .well-known URL for requesting a new password.