Saturday 2 April 2016

Google shows us what user experience shouldn’t look like

I received an email from Google saying that my credit card was expired and asking me add a new one. What ensued was an example of really bad user experience.

Here’s the original email:


There are a few links in the email. Let’s try following the Sign in link. You end up at a web page that looks like this:


Now, I don’t think I’ve got a Google for Work account so let’s click the Add account button. I’m asked for sign-in details so I add my usual Google account details and click through.


I click the final Sign in button and end up here:


Hang on. That looks familiar. No matter how many times I tried, it was always the same. I went round in a circle and ended up in the same place without an account having been ‘added’.

Back to the email. What happens if I click the Add payment methods link? This does, every time:



OK, back to first principles. I Google “google for work” and find the site. I click Sign in and use the domain I’m administering (this blog) and my usual account details again.


I click Go and end up here:


Hmmm… Looks familiar again but at least we’ve now got a domain mentioned. Can you guess what trying to add an account does? Yes, it does nothing and goes in a circle again.

So, what was the real problem? It seems that because the ‘organisation’ is I had a separate account in that domain that I had setup to manage the site. I ended up logging in with that account – resetting the password on the way – to get in to the Google at Work admin site. One in it still took me a while to navigate my way to change the credit card details. Whew.

Anyway, it may be secure to not leak any information at all about failed login attempts but really? Is this right?