Eran Sandler has two great posts about identity and OpenID. One links to my post on "the network of Me." He asks if we can do 'creative things' with XFN and identities. I personally don't want my identifier in anyone else's XFN file. I want to be asked by the person if I want my relationship with them expressed in a new context. All our relationships do not exist in all contexts....there is however often a lot of overlap between people with whom we share multiple contexts - making these relationships traverse contexts in a privacy protecting and non-annoying way is the challenge. I hope that people interested in how identities, social graphs and social portability will go to the Free Liberty 2.0 meeting on January 22 to learn more about their proposed open standard for this.
He also blogs eloquently about the still emerging challenge of UI and OpenID adoption.
I keep on seeing two distinct ways that are common in such sites/services (at least in the sites that I've visited).
The first, is to separate the OpenID handling to a different page. In that page the process of sign-in/up is actually the same. If this is your first time of signing in with your OpenID it will actually transform itself to a sign-up process and may ask you a couple of questions and may interact with your OpenID provider.
The second, OpenID is integrated only in the Sign-In screen. If you sign in with an OpenID for the first time you will actually get a sign-up process and you may be asked a few questions and have an interaction with your OpenID provider.
The best place, of course, is to have OpenID in both the Sign-In and Up screens, if a user that do have an OpenID reaches any one of these screen the scenario of signing in for the first time (or not for the first time) will work no matter when he is.
What do you think? How would use design these processes that will still fit to your site/service and still support in a clear and obvious way OpenID?
There is an emerging community that is focused on User Experience. I hope that Eran and others who care about this join up. We need all the UX brains we can get on this not easy to solve puzzle.