Hybrid Onboarding: No Password, No Problem Says Google
Article by George Norman
On 11 Nov 2009
The fact that I had to set up an account with various online services is not that bad. The fact that I have to remember different usernames and passwords for each of them is that bad. I don’t want to have to remember a whole bunch of passwords, not when I set them up to be really secure – they include letters, numbers and characters. And I’m sure that many computer users out there share my opinion.

Mountain View-based search engine giant Google sympathizes. And I’m not talking about the fact that with your Google Account credentials you can sing into Gmail, Google Reader, Google Docs and all the other online services that Google provides. I am talking about a technology called hybrid onboarding that lets you use your Google Account data to create an account for various online services. Sites like Plaxo and Facebook already use this technology.


Let’s say you are a Gmail user that received a Plaxo invitation. Instead of going through the traditional process of creating a new account (which meant you had to come up with and remember a new password as well) and instead of providing your Gmail password so that Plaxo could look up your friends list, you will see something like the image below.

Now let’s say you click the Sign up with my Google Account button on the Plaxo invitation. You will be directed to this page.

Click Allow and the Plaxo registration is complete.

Product Manager with Google Security, Eric Sachs, comments: “The registration process used to involve more than 10 steps, including requiring you to find one of those "email validation" messages in your inbox. You can now sign into Plaxo more easily — by simply clicking a button. There is still a long way to go before you'll be able to trim down your long list of website passwords, but this progress demonstrates the potential for even the largest websites to adopt to adopt the hybrid onboarding model. We hope many other websites will follow.”

Tags: Google, Plaxo, Facebook, Hybrid onboarding
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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