How to sign-up to any Discourse Forum with your @unikname

Hi everyone,
today I would like to share with you my thoughts about the Discourse sign-up process provided by the Discourse Unikname Connect Authentication Plugin.

Before all, it could be good to remind features provided by this Unikname authentication plugin:

  • multiple authentication modes, including Unikname Connect:
    • email + password
    • social authentication (e.g. Login with Facebook, Login with Google…)
    • Unikname Connect
      These modes can be enabled all together or selectively. Unikname stays an option too!
  • a clear starting screen allowing user to choose the authentication mode they wish
  • a new frictioneless and streamlined sign-up process
  • the possibility for the forum owner to make email request optional for Unikname users

NOTA: This plugin is fully based on the OAuth2.0 and OpenID Connect standard protocol. Unikname Connect is an additional protocol layer providing strong authentication and privacy-by-design on its core. So it’s really secure. :shield:

Sign-up, step-by-step

Nothing new here, you still have the two traditional Sign-up and Login buttons on the header of your forum:
image

Then here we are! Look at the new starting screen allowing users to choose the authentication mode they wish:

Two examples of the starting screen, depending on the settings of the Discourse Forum.

Let’s continue and explore two sign-up cases:

  • Case 1 : Sign-up with Unikname Connect
  • Case 2 : Sign-up with an eMail and password

Case 1: Sign-up with Unikname Connect

Let’s click to “sign-up with your @unikname” to enter to the standard Unikname Authentication Process.

We show it here but it’s not specific to the Discourse plugin.

You can see the value proposition of Unikname Connect, this is because it’s the first time you connect here:

You can check the box at the bottom to dismiss this screen for the next time you login. :wink:

Then you’re welcome to enter your @unikname:

Then open your My Unikname App (to be installed from https://my.unikname.app):

  1. get the sign-up notification
  2. check the connection request
  3. confirm

It’s done!

Now, we come back to our Forum and we can see the se screens displaying automatically:

Colors of theses screen comes from your Discourse Theme.

What is very interesting here is that it is a step-by-step sign-up process, more user friendly, where the user can understand the meaning of each requested data:

  1. The forum username: It is mandatory. We may notice that the forum does not know your own @unikname and you can choose whatever you want as the forum username. :+1:
  2. eMail is optional: This screen depends on the setting of the forum. Here, for this forum eMail are optional.

You may have additional screen depending on your Discourse configuration. For example if you require the full name then it will be requested here, between step 1 and step 2.

Then when you click on “Create New Account” you see your Preferences Email settings:

  1. Email: the plugin has generated a fake and invalid email for you. But it’s up to you to change it if you whish.

Whit this page, you still have a chance to change you email if you want to subscribe, and in any case you know where you can find this setting. Clever :wink: .

That’s it!

Case 2 : Sign-up with an eMail

The email sign-up process has been fully streamlined too.

Here again this is a step-by-step sign-up process, where the user can understand the meaning of each requested data:

  1. The forum username: It is mandatory. We may notice that the process start by requesting the username and not the email of the user :+1:
  2. Your eMail: NOTA: this email will be verified.
  3. Your password

But it’s not finished because if you’ve selected to login with your eMail then the system must be sure that this is a valid eMail. So your account will be vallidated only after the email verification:

  1. Sending the activation mail
  2. Open your mailbox and click on the activation link: you should have received a mail like that one
  3. Then confirm the creation of your account directly on the forum itself

Conclusion

Personally I like this new Discourse Authentication process:

  • The step-by-step registration process is more user-friendly and clearer for users who are systematically bothered with data sharing when creating accounts.
  • The screens are customized with the theme color of the Forum and that’s really cool. Great UX!
  • Focus given on users-privacy, making eMail optional, is really a demanded and trendy approach.

I hope the Discourse community will share my enthusiasm too :wink:

Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

By @Mayflower uns.network delegate.


The full documentation to Integrate this plugin to your Forum is available on the Unikname Help Center:

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