Bad UI Experience of the Week

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passwords are case-sensitive, but must be in all lower-case

Why bother telling people passwords are case-sensitive if you only allow them to use all-lower-case letters in the passwords? Besides decreasing security (it cuts the number of characters required to guess the password roughly in half), it’s pointless — there’s no technical reason for forcing passwords to be all lower-case while simultaneously using case-sensitive comparison routines when checking them for accuracy.

OK, so I fixed that…and was promptly greeted with this:

your chosen username is already taken

Aside from the idiocy of telling the user the password is invalid before telling them the username is also invalid, it’s bad UI to present errors piecemeal like this. If there are multiple invalid parts of a submission, you should be telling your users all at once, so they can fix it all at once, rather than making them click multiple times and becoming increasingly frustrated each time. (I believe my exact exclamation after I was presented with this was “You dumb motherf*ckers!”)

posted by Chris on 06 December 2009 at 1415 in computing


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