Epic Mickey Fail: How not to do registration

This year, Newstex is going to hold our first ever Company-wide meeting. It's a great concept for any virtual company to do, getting everyone in the same physical location so we feel a little more unity in the workplace. Unfortunately the choice of venue was Disney, but hey it's a start.

We were encouraged to download and use the "My Disney Experience" app. I've tried for the last 15 minutes to get an account, and now I can safely say I've spent much longer then any normal person ever would. It should not be required to contact customer support for something that should be instantaneous. Here's where Disney (and many others) have gone wrong.

Registration shouldn't require a lot of steps

Remember, it's the user's choice at any step how much, if any, information they want to give you. The more fields you make required, the less likely they are to fill everything out. If your registration requires just an email address, you might not get everyone to fill out their name, company, and address, but you'll at least get them into the system. Once you have them into the system, then you can try to get them to provide more information, but you have to convince them to take that first leap.

This is not an inviting registration step:

Ok, I might appreciate the enthusiasm of "Lets get started!" but the fact that this is a 4 step process? Not ok. Why are you asking me for my birthday to start? I can understand first asking me for my country, but what the heck, I just want to give you my email address and the rest of this should just be preferences.

Alright, I'll struggle through it and fill this in (even using the very broken Birthday date picker which makes you first choose your year, since otherwise it bounces your month back to January for trying to put in a future date). Lets go on to Step 2, which shouldn't even exist:

Title? What the hell is Title? You need to know my Gender but you're asking by making me choose a title? First Name, Initial , and Last Name? What if I don't have a last name, or what if I have multiple last names? Why is everything required? I just want to get in and start planning my experience, which is already ruined by all these questions!.

Ok, I'll enter in some fake information and continue...
Wait, now you need my address? I don't want to get mail spam from you. I'm already agreeing to give you my name, and I assume at some point email, but you need to know where I live now too? Is this even safe? I don't want this much personal information in your system. Fine, I'll enter in fake information once again and continue:

Finally my email address! Ok, but you're making me enter my password twice. Remember for all of this I'm not using a keyboard, but having to manually type things in on a small Smartphone on-screen keyboard. This has been a lot of typing and my fingers are starting to get tired... but what's that at the bottom?

Security questions? Really? They're not even Disney related, which might be interesting, not to mention security questions are notoriously poor security. This is more like something I'd expect to see from a Phishing site then a legitimate business application. Ok, well I'll just fill those in with fake answers too (after all, if I gave real answers you might know the security questions to my other systems too).

Ok, we're finally done right? Wait what's this?

After all that, you're going to tell me my account already exists?

Why didn't you check my email first?

If you had checked my email first, it would have saved me all these steps (not to mention the fact that this error is actually false, and my account did NOT already exist). Seriously now I'm just upset, but lets emulate someone who has this much time to waste on your app, which I've already formulated a very poor opinion of...

Make sure your out-of-app process is smooth

Ok, so I asked for a new password, get this fun email saying "click this link", but what's this?
Nice, stuck on a screen that gives me no options to contact help. Now I suppose you want me to call or email you, but guess what, I've already had a horrible experience with your application, and no longer care.

Simplicity is key

Lets take a look at the Newstex registration process now instead:

Huh, ok, optional registration, but this tells me why I would want to give you my email address. Ok, I'll bite.

Ok, so you want my name and company, well I don't want to really give you that, let me just click register.

Hey cool, I've got an account now!

Oh, my account isn't yet active because I didn't verify my email address. Well I can go ahead and do that when I'm free, but for now I'm in the app already...

Simplicity is key

Yes, you'd like more information, but you're ok with just having my basic email address. Now you've got something I wouldn't have otherwise given you, and you can start asking me for more information, providing me with incentives to do so.

Typing on a phone is slower

Don't ask me to fill in a lot of different fields, it's much slower to type on a phone or tablet. If you can ask me other questions via email or web-forms, that's fine, but I don't want to fill out all that information just to get started. Let me in quickly and I'll be much happier, and actually give you that precious email address which is all you really need to start marketing to me anyway.