Double password UX failure

This is a password entry screen from my web hosting provider. It’s fairly straightforward at first glance, but turns out to have two major issues. Here is the screen after I’ve finished typing the two passwords — it lights up green and gives me a checkmark to let me know everything is good, which is a nice feeling:

passmatch_1

But after I submit, it turns out everything was not good:

passmatch_2

 

This form has not one, but two annoying (and common) issues:

•Despite the clearly marked “green is good” styling, I get an error about the password being bad. Their heart is in the right place, but the execution is much too shortsighted — you shouldn’t check one condition and give the go-ahead without checking the other (similarly easily checkable) conditions as well. In this case, going half-way is worse than not at all, since this gives a false feeling of confidence and then tears the rug out from under you.

SURPRISE RULES! Take a look at that first screen again. Did you know there were any rules about how to form the password? Nope, there’s no clue whatsoever until after you submit and you get an error. You should never expect a user to just intuit your rules — save them time and frustration and be clear what you expect.

 

Fixing it

It would be great if they gave a highlight after the first password field letting you know whether your password matches their standards, and then used the “match” highlight as-is for the second, like so:

 

passmatch_3

Posted in Bad UX
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elias at lonespoon dot com
(617) 821-7800

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