Our "Create New Journal" process, quite frankly, sucks. We let users create a bland, defaulted journal and then dump them in the middle of nowhere with no clue as to where to go next.
LiveJournal has the potential to make ease-of-use a big selling point: we don't require users to know HTML, to have a website (or create one) and they can be up and running within a few minutes. We provide a set of nicely-built templates which suit the needs of the vast majority of the 'ease-of-use' audience, and all of those lame little features that make people smile like mood icons are available with a couple of clicks.
People have recently been submitting suggestions for a new front page for LiveJournal. All of these ideas have been great, but there's more to LiveJournal than the front page. I've created a mockup of a new, streamlined signup process which takes the user through some configuration steps as part of the process, so that when they are done with signing up they will already have a presentable, personalised journal and some of the more important settings set without having to go elsewhere on the site just yet.
My process starts with a page much like the current one, but I do think that we should put a create account box with username and password fields on the front page of LiveJournal when the user is not logged in and then on the first page of the signup process the password fields will be removed and the username field pre-populated.
See my mockup. Comments and suggestions welcome.
Update: In order to view it in full, you can press the Proceed buttons. Nothing will actually be done with your input, so feel free to leave everything blank; However, you might want to play with the colour theme selector since it has a previewer attached.