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Many web sites when you registering an account present you with a form where you put in your details such as name and other profile data. One of the fields without a change is email address. It seems that there are quite a lot of web sites that double this field up. They have email address field and then re-type your email address field.

When this comes to password, I can understand the purpose of that. For security reasons operating system and browsers treat the fields of type of password differently and in some circumstances subset of copy/paste operations can be disabled on these fields. Since it is important that there is no mistake in the password, user is asked to repeat it.

I cannot apply the same logic to the re-type email filed. Every time I register an account for a site that has this field I simply copy and paste the fields, and I suspect that most people do the same. Thus I can't see value in having this field.

I'm building a web site and creating an account registration page. I'm not intending putting the retype your email field on it, but may be I'm missing something and it serve some other role that I could not think of?

Is there any other purpose of this field apart from I described above that would justify including it on a account registration screen (be it a web site or desktop or mobile app)?

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closed as off topic by user281377, ChrisF Jun 1 '12 at 7:25

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belongs on ux.stackexchange.com –  user281377 Jun 1 '12 at 7:13
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@user281377 - while it does belong on UX, it has been asked - and answered - so migrating this question would simply create a duplicate. Here - ux.stackexchange.com/questions/20953/… - is the best version –  ChrisF Jun 1 '12 at 7:25
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Neither I can see any value with this field. Many registration sites have only one email field and verify it by sending a confirmation mail to the given address. –  mouviciel Jun 1 '12 at 7:26
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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You may use copy/paste to save typing the e-mail address twice but in doing so you are defeating the object of the repeated entry.

Many e-mail addresses are long and as such are prone to entry error as you type. I have had addresses with the domains @freeserve.co.uk, @virginmedia.co.uk and @emsglobaltracking.com all of which are long enough for a finger slip to occur during typing. A colleague made an error when entering his address when buying a rail ticket online; his notification e-mail went to @gmial.com, fortunately he printed the confirmation screen or he would have lost his booking.

Having a repeat on the enter e-mail address allows typing errors to be trapped, providing the user actually types their address into the box. A small inconvenience that makes some attempt at ensuring that your data is correct. As a small aside, in the 1970's I went to a Tate & Lyle data entry office. Everything was entered into the computer twice, by different operators. Any differences were automatically flagged for verification, after all "garbage in, garbage out".

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Your e-mail may be needed if it serves as a login, if the website will send a confirmation link to it, or for advertisement purposes. In that case, it's important that you type it right, which is why you will be asked to type it twice.

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The reasoning for the re-type email is somewhat similar to the one for the password: making sure that the user has not typed it wrongly. In many web apps a user's email is a very important piece of information, and if a user enters it incorrectly it might compromise some functions (such as resend password). Having the user type it twice minimizes the chance that he typed it wrong.

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