American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Tue, 06/01/2021 - 23:38

Could we please have some notice saying whether we need to log in (say, to WebObs) as we had on the previous site?

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Log-In Warning

Hi Michael:

Hopefully this question will not elicit too much unhappiness? I'm sure you know where the current log-in / log-out area is found on each AAVSO web page (top right center). After many months, I suspect you have logged in many times. The word 'log-in' with an arrow appears if you are not logged in. The log out symbol consists of the words 'My Account' and a door with a small arrow. Yes, perhaps the symbol is a bit obscure, but after many months, it should be clear what it means? I don't even remember what the old log-in looked like. I suspect, a message appeared if you clicked on a link when you were not logged in?

Is your main issue, that this area / words / symbol is small and not obvious enough? It doesn't move around. Is there a particular page where it is not shown? It does appear on the Web-Obs page. Do you have some saved bookmark that takes you somewhere else that does not have the log-in area?

Or is the issue, that when you click on a Web-Obs link it does not immediately prompt you that you are not logged in but force you to go to the next page and read the lengthy error page that has two reasons for failing, which includes not being logged in? Is it that extra step that is annoying?

My learned practice is to regularly/always scan the log-in area when I go to the AAVSO web page to determine if I am already logged in. In fact, I never log out but just x out of the browser. The cookie keeps me logged in when I open it again. Is that not a practice you wish to develop? Yes, the new web site is a bit different.


American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Thanks for that Ken. No, I…

Thanks for that Ken. No, I had no idea that the door (as I see it at the moment) had anything to do with logging in/out. Maybe a simple text 'log in' would have been much better. The phrase 'My account' would appear to have nothing whatsoever to do with logging in/out, so is hardly first choice for such an operation. As a former professional web designer/developer myself, sites should be as 'idiot-proof' (and on this occasion, I am the idiot!) as possible. I get the impression with the new site that someone has found a few bright new toys and is as determined to use them as possible.

What used to happen is that if you weren't logged in, you were told so, and directed to the login page. Simples!

Any extra steps that detract from what the user is trying to do is not only annoying but self-defeating in terms of user experience. I have other beefs about the new, not improved, website but they don't relate to this particular topic.

As for logging out by closing the browser, this has negative security issues and really shouldn't be done, since that is a way that passwords can be captured - hence the proliferation of emails (with a past password included) of the 'I saw you on porn sites, please send bitcoin or else' variety.