Lindsey Kuper (lindseykuper) wrote in suggestions,
Lindsey Kuper

Clarification of password-creation error message

Clarification of password-creation error message

Short, concise description of the idea
I suggest a clarification of the "dictionary word" password-creation error message to make it easier to understand.

Full description of the idea
Hello. I've been volunteering in Support for a little while, and I've noticed several support requests that go something like this: "I'm trying to create a password, and the error message says that the password has to be a dictionary word. Well, I've used lots of dictionary words and it isn't helping! What am I doing wrong?"

Though I haven't seen the error message myself (and I apologize for being too lazy to dig around in the CVS for it), I get the feeling that the text of the error message must be hard to understand, because some users are taking it to mean exactly the opposite of what it really means, which is "The password you're trying to choose is a dictionary word; please choose something else."

Ideally, the error message would not only explain to users why the password they typed in didn't work, but it would explain to them why it's a bad idea to choose a dictionary word.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

An ordered list of benefits

  • Speedier account creation for new users
  • Better knowledge of the importance of password security for new users
  • Less work for Support volunteers
  • An ordered list of problems/issues involved

  • No drawbacks I can think of
  • An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation

  • Simply change the text of the error message slightly
  • Tags: ~ historical
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