I am an existing Wunderlist user and recently visited the Wunderlist site. I was greeted with this log in form:
I’m sure you have seen this a lot recently on the web. A lot of sites are doing it now. They give you the option to log in or signup using 3rd party app credentials from sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google instead of using the old-fashioned username/email and password combo. The idea behind it being, you can use your existing Facebook/Twitter account to login/create your account on our new site and this way you will not have to create yet another username and password to remember, plus you know your data is “secure” with those guys so there is less risk to signing up with us. It’s supposed to ease the friction of signing up/in to a new web site.
For social buttons, logging in and signing up are basically the same thing
But here’s the problem. In the above instance I was visiting this site from a new browser, so it did not have my login credentials stored. This meant I would have to log in, hence the above page appearing. It’s a common enough scenario, for example you create the account on your laptop, then later want to access it on your phone. But for the life of me I could not remember if I had created my Wunderlist account using Facebook, Twitter or Email.
So now what can I do? The answer is I have to guess! I have a one in three chance of getting it right. Get it wrong and I will either have to try another one of the 3 or maybe (and here is what I feel is THE major issue with the current Social Button system) continue on with that choice and be greeted with the option to create a brand new account.
A Common Example
You are greeted with the login screen but can’t remember what service you signed up with, Facebook, Twitter or Email. You think ‘okay I will try and log in with Facebook and see what happens. If I didn’t sign up using Facebook then it will let me know and I will try one of the others’.
You choose the Facebook button. However, unknown to you at this stage, you had not created your account using Facebook. You are redirected to Facebook and asked to give Wunderlist permissions. You might think this is probably normal login behaviour, maybe it’s showing me this because I’m using a new browser or computer or whatever.
After that you are greeted with a new form to fill in (see below image) which again, you fill in, thinking that it must be part of the login process because surely they are not going to create a new account for you when all you wanted to do was log in! I know that it says “Sign Up” on Wunderlist (image below), so hopefully most will realise what is happening, but some won’t. But that’s not even the point, they should not be shown this page at all, ever, all they want to do is log in.
If you do incorrectly continue on you will see that all your data is missing, Why? Because you’ve just created a brand new account!
Therein lies the issue for me – if you try to log in with one of these 3rd party apps and you did NOT create your account using that app then it will carry on regardless and try to create a brand new account for you.
What I would like to see is apps that are smart enough to see that hey this person is trying to LOG IN to their account, maybe we shouldn’t be trying to get them to create a brand new account. If they are trying to log in then maybe they already have an account and maybe picked the wrong login button!
Is this too much to ask!!?
And Wunderlist is not the only site doing this. This is the standard behaviour and workflow of all sites I have ever used that have Social Login Buttons.
Login -> Pick wrong Social Login -> Create New Account
Can we not just have:
Login -> Pick wrong Social Login -> Display error, let user retry Login
Until this issue is addressed by app developers then I would strongly advise against using Social Buttons and stick with email for now!
P.S. MailChimp decided to remove their 3rd party buttons from it’s site too, not for the reason listed above but for other equally valid reasons.