Summertime UX Fail Partytime!!!!


As many visitors of my not-world-famous and not-almost-award-winning UX blog know, I really love writing about UXfail because it’s funny and makes me feel enormously superior about my supreme intelligence and ninja UX skillz.

And while surfing the internet for a pair of new shoes I suddenly remembered I might have overpaid my council tax bill this month so off I trotted to the event horizon of UX car crash that is Glasgow City Council’s online payment ‘service’.

First off the bat is this aesthetically pleasing login page:


I’m serious: it is a well laid out form with nice alignments and fonts.

But shiver me timbers! Look at the password field! For a start I have no idea how it knows my password is going to have 5 characters, but that aside, how easy is this to crack! Sod using all them other pesky letters! Lets just use a couple! Yaaarrr!!


Anyway, because I haven’t used this service I’ve forgotten everything, so let’s get me user name back aye! 2

Er, OK. Y’know, when I only have to fill in one field I am fairly confident I will get it right, but hey, maybe most of your users are carrots.

After traipsing off to my email, I enter the username and set about retrieving my password:


That’s fine, that’s what a forgotten password form should look like!


But what’s this? Why, it’s a pointless secondary security question and oh bugger my cotton socks I cannot remember whatever I wrote.


It’s like the tech team behind all this were all like “yeah, well, we might want to make this intuitive and commonsensical or maybe we might just dick around with you with vague and meaningless instructions”

But fear not, I got my login credentials and managed to login!

And then:


Hmmm, a curious psychic game! I think they probably mean my email? I dunno.


Nope! Let’s try mother’s maiden name again:


I am success! So amaze! Actually, this is not a bad dashboard; at least the UI team over at Glasgow City Council have half an idea what they are up to. It’s just a shame no one else does.

But what is this My Services thing? Why do I have to manually add a service? Why can’t I just GO to that service? Seems dumb. Anyway, let’s proceed:


Well, I can’t really be bothered adding a service when all I want to do is to inquire about my council tax so it’s off to the dashboard thingy again and this link:


And then!!!



And there we go, quite the ride! But on a serious note – and aside from the myriad #uxfail in this post – what I think they were trying to do with the password fragment and extra security question was make it safer, but all they ended up doing was add another layer of complexity; which I’m guessing resulted in hundreds of users calling the council offices unable to remember their credentials.


But what do you think? Tell me on Twitter or I’ll haunt you in the next life.


3 thoughts on “Summertime UX Fail Partytime!!!!

  1. Nice.
    From a security viewpoint, I’d bet there’s a handy set of tables to be found for the frequency of the 2nd letter of a word and the 5th which would make guessing a password trivial.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s