Simple Ideas, Great Usability

Sometimes even the simplest things can bring a big boost in usability. A small sampler I came across recently: clear text password field – which you can of course turn into a regular one by checking a checkbox in case someone is standing behind your back with the intention of stealing your future freckle password (only God knows what could happen then)! Beware of the (web 2.0) ninjas though, they can hide pretty well – so be sure to turn on the password hiding if you are sitting in a black room!

freckle.png If you comment on an article, you can check a checkbox stating that you’d like to receive an e-mail if anyone makes a new comment. I’d like to have this everywhere (yeah I know about services like and but I found them clumsy compared to the above solution)

email_me_comment.png Simplest. Signup Form. Ever.


It would be great if other sites would realize that you don’t necessarily need your mom’s maiden name and similar info to sign up – it’s perfectly ok to supply that later on.

6 thoughts on “Simple Ideas, Great Usability

  1. But what happens if, when signing up for ycombinator, I mistyped my password? Does that mean my desired username becomes unusable and taken forever?

  2. @Hongli – yes, I guess so – so probably they should combine this with the 1st idea 🙂 (if you manage to log in at least once, you can set up your e-mail and reset your password using that).

    I am willing to take the risk of mistyping the password (which rarely happens – I don’t remember it ever happening to me) if I’ll be facing such simple signup forms in the future…

  3. Agree with Hongli Lai. A confirmation pw field would be ideal. A three field system still beats out most account creation forms out there.

  4. Pingback: freckle: time tracking rethought » Blog Archive » Calamity howlers & positively selecting with surprise

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