Sorry – your login failed

Are you fed up getting the message that the computer can’t log you in? I know I am.

Too many web sites are still in the web 1.0 world.

These web systems are puffed up with their own importance: they expect their customers to remember a username and password to access their site, even if the customer only visits once or twice a year.

You know the problem, you try to log on but get a message back like “Either your email address or your password was incorrect. Please go back to try again” – and in most cases we don’t bother. For the loyal, we persist and try the “Lost your password?” button which then sends an untelligible password back like “xwwgys@!$$!” and hey off we go to play football….there’s more to life than typing these ridiculous unmemorable passwords in. Especially when after two or three attempts we still can’t log in.

Yes this problem happens even to technically literate people like me – in fact it’s even worse as I don’t just have to remember several passwords but also several email addresses – as a freelance Facebook developer I change companies and email addresses more often than cutting my hair.

Surely you cry, Web 2.0 should present a solution. And the good news is, yes it does. In tech parlance this problem is known as “the Single Sign On problem” which means that people sign on once and then they have access to all their normal applications and services.

There are three main ways you can solve Single Sign On on your website:
1. Integrate into one of the major “single sign on” providers like Yahoo’s BBA or Google’s SAML .
2. Make your application work on Facebook Platform so users just log in to Facebook and then add your web system.
3. Build in the OpenID standard into your authentication platform.

Whichever you choose the news will be good for your users – only one or two logins to remember every morning. For businesses on the web you need to start planning to implement one of the above three approaches today or be left behind to face the angry mob.

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