The 2 logins saga



  •  Just thought i'd share this little gem with you guys.  We have a particularly clueless project manager at the moment and i swear she's getting dumber by the week.  A bit of background, the system we created for them has an application which employees use and one that clients use.  These are part of the same system and the convention goes that clients log in with their email and nominated password.  Employees log into the employee application with the first part of the email address(before the @) and their nominated password. 

    Now here's where it gets tricky, sometimes employees need access to the client site, unfortunately because of the way permissions work in the system the easiest thing to do is give them a new login for the client site which is their full email address and usual password, not the optimum solution but not too bad.  We even put the word "email address" in the login box for the systems that require an email address for login.  and wow, the number of support calls we get from the PM about this is crazy, at least 4 a week for the last month.  None of the other employees seem to find it confusing but the PM just doesn't get it.  She keeps ringing up saying "i logged in and i can't see x and y" we again ask if she logged in with her email or her employee username, she then claims it's too confusing, we explain it says email next to the login box so you use you email address, she still doesn't get it.

    Seriously, we get 4 calls a week from her about this, it's amazing, it makes no difference how clearly you explain it she just doesn't remember, even to the point where i've said you have 2 logins if you log in and can't see the services you want you are logged in with the wrong one you should try your other one.  Still rings us.

    The thing that makes it even more amazing is that she rang up on tuesday and again we explained it to her and she claimed this was the first time she'd ever heard of the second login and she'd only ever had one.  we were all just astounded as we knew for a fact she'd logged into both systems on friday(log files).  well the saga continues, she's rung us again since then with the same problem.



  • Sorry, but I nominate the confusing design as a WTF and the PM is just a hapless victim. Sometimes the users are clueless only because we (the developers) were too clever by half.



  •  @dgvid said:

    Sorry, but I nominate the confusing design as a WTF and the PM is just a hapless victim. Sometimes the users are clueless only because we (the developers) were too clever by half.

     

     yeah, it's not the best setup i agree, unfortunately it's just the nature of how permissions work in the system, we're currently looking at a setup whcih will solve the issue but it hasn't really been a top priority because it's only the 13 or so administrative users this applies to so we figured just giving the 2 logins would be an ok solution, at least in the interim.  It's more that a supposed I.T. project manager struggles with this concept when none of the other admin users have had any problems with it.



  • I have to agree, the real WTF IS the dual login system. A completely different username for an employee logging in as a client would probably avoid the majority of the confusion.



  • I'm with the OP on this one. The dual system maybe be somewhat confusing, but not that confusing.

    Having two usernames will probably only confuse her more, I think.

    How different are the two apps? Do they look the same? Can't you use different colours? 



  • Yeah, I'm with the OP as well. Sure the system sounds like a small WTF, but not that bad. I've had pretty clueless regular users understand more complicated things than this.

    If you get confused by stuff like this after having it explained once or twice you shouldn't be an IT project manager. And if you can't learn simple things like this after the third try, I seriously doubt you should be a project manager at all.

    And no, I don't think you should be managing projects in something that you have no background or knowledge in. That goes for IT and pretty much everything else.



  • @dgvid said:

    Sorry, but I nominate the confusing design as a WTF and the PM is just a hapless victim. Sometimes the users are clueless only because we (the developers) were too clever by half.
     

    Come on.  She's had this explained to her close to TWENTY TIMES according to the OP.  How retarded does she have to be to still don't remember it and even claim that she's NEVER HEARD OF IT BEFORE?  Is Alzheimer's enough or is something more severe needed?  It's a wonder she remembers how to get to work each morning.

    Sure, the system is far from optimal.  I'd have gone with some sort of parameter to switch between the systems and a toggle link on the site.  Or made the employees see everything at once if possible.  But still, I expect that every functional member of the society is able to remember things that he/she needs on a daily basis after being explained once or twice.  Even more so for persons in managerial positions.



  • Sure, it may seem perfectly logical to YOU that entering the full email address gives you one set of permissions and entering part of it gives you another, but as a programmer you're able to process this information and hold it longer than a goldfish might be able to.

    But some very popular applications (Gmail, for one) allow you to log in with or without the full email address. Maybe she's used to this and thinks that all systems work that way.

    One of the lessons I've learned about non-technical members of my company is that it never occurs to them that we have the power to make decisions on this kind of thing. They have no idea whatsoever of what our jobs entail. They give us money and we give them back systems that somehow work.

    One of my managers once said to me, "Wow, I never realised there were different ways to do that. I thought there was only one way to do things and all programmers did the same thing!"

    Now, he's a little more clued-up than most managers. You obviously aren't so lucky.



  • Solution: COMPLETELY change the styles of one of the login pages. Users will not think that both are identical.

    Yes that PM is pretty damn dumb (watch southpark homeless episode... homeless people immediately forget that you gave them change)



  • @astonerbum said:

    Solution: COMPLETELY change the styles of one of the login pages. Users will not think that both are identical.
    Make that the style of the whole systems (as I failed to imply in my previous post).

    Kind of like white/$ prompt for normal users and red/# prompt for root.



  • I agree on completely changing the style of the login page.

    Also, if it's not unreasonable, have someone physically go to her location and help her log in to both systems, and document this.



  •  @dgvid said:

    Sorry, but I nominate the confusing design as a WTF and the PM is just a hapless victim. Sometimes the users are clueless only because we (the developers) were too clever by half.

     

    The design is complicated enough that skimming through the description I don't understand what it is.

    The project manager might be busy, too, and doesn't feel like reading 4 paragraphs to understand why she needs to different logins.



  • How about some javascript that checks whether there's a @ in the login. If it's there on the page that doesn't require it, strip it off before submitting. If it's not there on the page that doesn't, pop up a message telling them to use their full email address.



  • @Zecc said:

    @astonerbum said:

    Solution: COMPLETELY change the styles of one of the login pages. Users will not think that both are identical.
    Make that the style of the whole systems (as I failed to imply in my previous post).

    Kind of like white/$ prompt for normal users and red/# prompt for root.

    Don't restyle the system if they are both different functionality, make one login blue the other one dark red. Its so obvious she will call once or twice and everything will be back to normal. Theoretically just some CSS property changes for background/foreground colors.



  • @tdb said:

    Come on.  She's had this explained to her close to TWENTY TIMES according to the OP.  How retarded does she have to be to still don't remember it and even claim that she's NEVER HEARD OF IT BEFORE?  Is Alzheimer's enough or is something more severe needed?  It's a wonder she remembers how to get to work each morning.

    It's a defense mechanism. Some people are unable to admit that they are wrong or forgetful, and therefore, since she can't possibly be wrong or have forgotten, she's therefore never heard of the system before.



  • @SuperousOxide said:

    How about some javascript that checks whether there's a @ in the login. If it's there on the page that doesn't require it, strip it off before submitting. If it's not there on the page that doesn't, pop up a message telling them to use their full email address.
    You're missing the point. The problem, the way I see it, is mostly her complaining about missing features, because she doesn't realize that she logs into the wrong application.



  • @element[0] said:

    Seriously, we get 4 calls a week from her about this, it's amazing, it makes no difference how clearly you explain it she just doesn't remember, even to the point where i've said you have 2 logins if you log in and can't see the services you want you are logged in with the wrong one you should try your other one.  Still rings us.
     

    Perhaps she's in love with you and just needs an excuse to hear your voice  



  • The problem as I see it is that the design of the application sucks. During the design process did anybody consider whether company users would want to log in to the client interface?

    I've worked with enough myopically-designed applications (many of them my own) to know that when I hear (or find myself using) a feeble excuse like, "... because of the way permissions work in our system...", any confusion arising is NOT the user's fault.

    It's a circular, meaningless justification. "This application is the way it is because of the way the application is". Saying that doesn't help your users and it won't help you design better applications.



  • @Nelle said:

    @element[0] said:

    Seriously, we get 4 calls a week from her about this, it's amazing, it makes no difference how clearly you explain it she just doesn't remember, even to the point where i've said you have 2 logins if you log in and can't see the services you want you are logged in with the wrong one you should try your other one.  Still rings us.
     

    Perhaps she's in love with you and just needs an excuse to hear your voice  

     

    Yes. I also found out that the best way to start a relationship with someone is to annoy the heck out of her.



  •  Whats with people blaming the op?

     The system isn't that complicated and since it is for internal use then the people using it should learn how - it's their job!

    Wasting hours trying to fix the usability of an internal system because one IT manager is too stupid to grasp it is an egregious waste of resources, as any time the developers spend on this is time that isn't spent on what they are meant to be doing.

    Mind you if the program knows if it is a client/admin login surely it's possible to strip everything after the @, and if not provide a selection box for 'client'/'admin', if only to keep her happy.

    Personally I've created quite a lot of internal use apps and generally I design them to work, not to have hand holding niceties, as I have better things to do.


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