Creating a password an I am getting
"Password must contain [xx] number of characters and must contain both numbers and special characters"despite the fact that I already have all those covered - it turned out that I had used the WRONG special characters; There was a limited set of special character I could use. That's fine, I understand that from a coding perspective, but TELL the users which special characters he/she can include! Same goes for letters from foreign alphabets. If the letters have to be from the German or English subset, just make it clear.
"Your password cannot include your name or user-ID".I stared at the account, retyped the password, but got the same message when I tried to save. Took a while to figure that one out, turned out all my special characters were wrong, once I had replaced them, and changed the length of the password it worked - mine was too long.
Password must contain [xx] number of characters and must contain both numbers and special characters. Password must be minimum 6 characters long"meant Password must be exactly 6 characters long (even more scary? The error message came from an institution that specialises in IT and security is part of that. Exactly 6 character long passwords? Way to go. )
Of course there are also all the sites that only allow you to use letters and numbers, letters only, the ones that save passwords in clear text - yes, they still exist, especially common in travel sites and recruitment sites, I found, although it has gotten a lot better the last two years (said June 2016) - but that is a different issue. My discussion (rant?) today is just about error messages that have nothing to do with the actual text.
My point being: When users keep getting error messages that doesn't actually tell them anything this often leads to one of these two things:
- User abandons the account creation - meaning lost business for you
- User gives up and picks a simple password that can be very easily cracked - the name of his children, his dog, and so forth.
The very worst error messages are those that don't exist. When users make mistakes and get no feedback, they're completely lost.