Passwords are hard.

I’ve got over 1000 of them when I look at the information from clients.

They should all be different and they should all be long and random so they can’t be guessed.

Are you making it harder

I recently wanted to purchase a course from How to Fascinate based off an email they sent me.

I clicked through the email.

Then read the text and watched the video.

Then added it to my cart.

Then filled in a bit of personal information.

Then it asked if I had an account, and I did so I went to sign in.

But unfortunately it didn’t work so I checked my password on their main site again.

Well it worked on the main site.

So I tried it again on the purchase portal, and it didn’t work.

And I couldn’t sign up for the course.

The likely problem

Unfortunately you encounter bad usability like this on a regular basis.

Typically it means that the sign up form allows 50 character passwords while the sign in form only allows 20. Thus your 50 character password is now actually 20 characters.

But of course the site never told you.

Worse is when the sign up form allows special characters (!$^) but the login form strips them out. Or maybe the sign up form allows you to enter them, but just removes them from the password.

Reporting

Being a good web developer I reported the bug and was basically told they know about the password issue but they’d like me to sort out how many characters a password can be because they know it’s a problem but they don’t have a real answer.

So their password problem should be solved by me their customer?

They weren’t even sure where the problem was exactly. Is it 20 characters or 25 or does it cut ‘funny’ characters like #?

But as the customer I’m supposed to figure that out for them so I can purchase their product.

How many conversions do you drop?

It’s likely that for every complaint you get about issues like that on your site you actually have it happen 10x more without being reported.

So you could be getting 10 extra sales for every one complaint or 100 sales for 10 complaints.

It just doesn’t make good business sense to leave the problem up to your customers to solve. Even if all 10 people that complain do stick through and purchase you’ve dropped the other 90 you never heard from.

Getting a lot of spam on your forms? Don’t add a CAPTCHA that just makes it harder for real users to submit the form and forces them to solve your problem.

If you’d like a review of your site for conversion issues get in touch with us. We can help you find and fix issues that are killing your conversions.

Posted by Curtis McHale