The Problem with Password UX

24. June 2017 · Time to Read: 2 MinCategory: User Experience

Forgotten Password UX is a pain point for the vast majority of us.

The average person has a lot of passwords to try and remember. From websites to social media platforms to apps. The list of pretty huge for the average digital user.

This survey found that 61% of people reuse the same password on multiple websites. We as web users don't like passwords.

The current state of password UX.

When I attempt to login to a website or an app, sometimes I am unable to remember the password. I'll normally reset the password using the "forgot your password" link provided. This part of the process is usually pain free and fast purely because of how often I have to do this.

The problem begins with this next step. I'll then click the link in the email and go to reset my password. It's at this point that the website informs me that I need to use a silly amount of characters, a special character, maybe a number and sometimes an uppercase character. I then remember my password due to these ridiculous requirements triggering a memory and i'll then go back to the login. Sometimes I'll even go as far as resetting only to be told "The new password can't be the same as the old password". At that point I give up.

It seems absurd that websites do this.

I've tried fixing this problem in the past with a password manager but using two to three different machines made this difficult. We should stop using external tools to fix bad UX.

A general assumption I make is that too many password requirements are really bad and websites that implement these password requirements will usually have bad UX overall.

Solutions?

Why can't the login page tell me the password requirements from the get go? This could have the potential to trigger my memory before I even type my password.

Another option would be to show me a certain number of characters, like a "here is 3 letters of your password" instead of making me reset via email.

Maybe don't provide silly password requirements in the first place.

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