Today I formatted my mobile phone and backed up all the apps that were previously there. But unfortunately, I have forgotten the email, password or even the signup method which I chose while creating an account on that app!
For many of us, logging into websites or mobile applications is part of our daily routine. Right? In fact, we do it so often that it has become all automated until something really goes wrong. We forget passwords, usernames, the email address we signed up with, social login, or even if we ever signed up at all!
Detailed analysis of a major e-comm sites found that 45% of all customers had multiple registrations in the system, 1,60,000 people requested their password every day, and 75% of these people never completed the purchase they started once they requested their password.
Log-in is a big deal – big enough that most sites and apps have started exploring new design solutions for the problem. Here’s where to start, and what to focus on for the good user experience:
Tell Users What’s Wrong –
It is possible that one wrong combination for a username and password could lead to multiple attempts before successful login, or frustrated enough to quit. Generic responses like ‘Your email or password doesn’t match’) do not provide a meaningful feedback for your users and don’t allow them to fix their problem. Users, who are not logged in read “One of these two fields is wrong but I won’t tell you which one”, and this reduces conversion rates and engagement. Rather you should help a user to get through a login task efficiently and effectively. The response should explain what is not matching correctly – the password, or the email address. Example: The stress of forgetting a username/password combo is alleviated on the MailChimp. If a username does not exist, they tell you before you even attempt to retype your password. They detect the problem and offer a link to let the user fix it.
But as once my mentor(Rohit Sir) mentioned, this technique also has a major downside: it might allow a third party application to know that a particular email, person, name is registered on a site or app. Sometimes UIs need to be made less convenient in order to communicate more clearly to the user or, in this case, to alleviate fears. For example, this solution is not recommended for online banking(security reasons) or services where users might be concern about their membership status (privacy reasons).
Remind Users That They Changed Their Password –
Users can get so used to typing in their old password that they can forget they changed it. And when they get an error message, they’re led to believe they’ve mistyped the password.
What users need in this case is a reminder that their password was changed. Instead of giving users a wrong error message, tell them how long ago they changed their password. This message should only appear when users type in their old password. If users mistyped a password, the system should display a regular ‘Wrong password’ error message.
For example, if users change their Google account’s password and try to log in using the old password, Google shows a special message: “Your password was changed X days ago”
Solve Multiple Log In Problems –
When faced with multiple sign-in options (such as sign-in via Facebook, Twitter or Google+) on a site or app, people might forget which service they used to sign up (or if they used one at all), and thus hesitate or fail to log in. Worse to come, if someone picks the wrong provider, instead of signing in to the service they’re trying to use, they might end up signing up again, thereby creating a second account.
Or just provide a mobile login in your app!
Warn Users Before Locking Their Account –
To prevent brute force attacks user accounts are often temporarily locked out after a number of failed login attempts. This is, of course, a necessary security measure, but be sure to warn users before their account is to be locked.
Mailchimp warns users after the third attempt that their account will be locked for 30 mins after 9 more unsuccessful login attempts.
Recognise Returning Users –
If the user is logged out and returning, just show them the previously logged in account and ask them whether they want the same account to log in or they want to log in as another user.
Quora does this perfectly
These examples illustrate that even the most common interactions on the web and in apps like logging in could benefit from such simple ideas and design improvements.
I am a “Technical Entrepreneur” having more than 5+ years of experience in the design and development of mobile, web, wearables and desktop apps. I have also worked with Microsoft and Google. I love teaching and have delivered many App development workshops across India.