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Started

UI critiques, sorry about the length

Jason B 3 years ago in iOS • updated by Maarten Billemont 3 years ago 4
Small caps are a terrible idea for a font when putting in text that is case sensitive. My master password looked like it was all caps when it's really not. I had to pay careful attention to the shift key to know what I was putting in (and of course, to make it worse the iOS shift key is hard to understand, although that's not your fault!). 

There doesn't seem to be a way to exit searches when you only have one or two sites. You can't swipe the keyboard down or tap anywhere else to remove focus from the search bar. When I added more sites, suddenly I could swipe on the list of sites to get out of searching. 

A lot of text in the app is extremely dark grey on black, and it's almost impossible to read. "Set custom password", for example, as well as the heading things like "Medium", "Long", and "Maximum". In addition, most of the headings run off the side and are unreadable. All I can see for one of them is "Device P". (I guess that's "Device Private" according to the settings? I don't know what that means even when I can read the whole thing.)

The whole idea of scrolling horizontally between password types is misguided, I think. For one, the "delete" button doesn't really fit there. It's not really an option like the others, it's an action. But more importantly, changing the password's complexity isn't something that's likely to happen much after I initially set it up. If I'm creating a password, I'll enter the site, get the generated password, maybe dial down the complexity if the site won't accept it, then be done. After that, I don't want an errant swipe to make me lose track of which one is actually my password. It would suck to have to try each one until I found it again. 

The "username" field confused me. At first, I thought it was a way for me to generate multiple passwords for multiple accounts on the same site, but that's not it. I only get one per site. Is it just there to remind me of my username? The algorithm doesn't seem to have a "username" option, so I suppose that must be it. Maybe it should be added to the URL like an email address in a future version of the algorithm? My temporary solution was to make up addresses, like "username.example.org". 

In general, a lot of the UI features are hidden in a way that you just have to "know" they are there. 
Some examples:
- When I pressed the counter out of curiosity, it incremented and I couldn't immediately figure out how to get it back down to 1. My old password was gone, with no clear way to get it back. Of course, there is a way to reset it by long pressing the plus button, but that's extremely unintuitive. Why would pressing + in a different way cause the counter to go down? Why isn't there a corresponding minus button instead? That's what I expected when I hit the plus, and I think it would be much clearer.
- I don't expect a box with a magnifying glass to be how I add a new site. I would expect that to just filter/search the data I've already added. I would expect a "+" button at the top, like most other apps for adding new content. Searching and adding are two separate actions. Maybe if a search has no results, you could have a "No results, add new site 'example.com'?" button, but there should be a way to clearly add a site without searching too.
- Again, deleting a site is hidden all the way to the left past the weak passwords. I had a hard time finding it. 

The little intro video thing showed me some of these things, but really that shouldn't be necessary in the first place. Even that intro was kind of confusing. I couldn't tell that the text was telling me where to tap because there weren't any arrows or indications that it was an instructional video until it got to the "Password counter:" and I finally got a highlighted button with text to the side next to it. That was the first one that looked like it was saying "Here's a thing, and this is what it does."

I notice that the recent changes include an all new UI, but honestly I'd recommend taking another crack at it because it's really not something I could recommend to a novice right now. I think they'd get frustrated and be confused. If it worked more like this, I think it would be a lot better:

I create my "account" with name and password. I get an empty list, with a standard "+" key in one of the top corners. When I tap it, I get a "create a new site" page, with a box for the site's name. Below it, I see the current generated password, then options like "Counter value" and "Complexity" that I can change if I want to. Maybe a freeform "Notes" section too, instead of "Username". The password changes in real time with the options I set, so I can try it on the site and make sure it works. If I need a custom password, I pick that as my "Complexity" and then instead of the preview, I get a text box that I can edit. Once it gets accepted and my password is changed, I hit "done" and I'm back at my list. It shows the site name and password, along with a little (i) icon. Tapping the (i) gets me back to the same page that I used to create the site, so I can make changes if I want. Otherwise, tapping anywhere else copies the password to my clipboard. If I want to delete, I can swipe to the left to pull up a "Delete" button, just like in other apps. 
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Ha, I just realized that I should add some praise to all this criticism! I really like the idea behind this, and the algorithm itself is great. I just think that the presentation could use a bit more polish and it would open it up to more people, which would be awesome for everyone.
Under review
Hey Jason,

This is excellent feedback, thanks!  I can probably agree with you on most of these points.  I'll readily admit this UI was put out in a bit of a rush for resetthenet.org.

If you're willing to join the iOS beta program (email me at masterpassword@lyndir.com if you are), perhaps we can work together alongside the other interested parties and work out a great UI that works for everyone.

I'm absolutely engaged in finding a UI that puts usability first and has enough polish to stand out.  At the same time, I'm limited in time to my after-work hours and have a Mac and Android app to put out too!  So there's that.  Regardless, it's feedback like this that I need to bring out the best results!