"Sign Up With Google" Bug

When an external user tries to register for a Stacker app through open sign-up using the “Sign up with Google” option, there is a bug/UX quirk that causes many users to drop off.

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The user is presented with 4 checkboxes - three of which are automatically filled. It’s not clear the fourth is required for the app to work. And if the user skips it, they get a message saying “An error has occurred trying to register with this Google Account” without explaining why or prompting the user to retry.

If they retry registering, they get a message to confirm the missing permissions. But we’re finding many users don’t take the initiative and will avoid email sign-up since our IT/security team encourages Google account single sign up for everything.

This results in a lot of complaints from people getting an error when trying to register.

Is there anything Stacker can do to either:

  • Make the fourth checkbox required on the initial Google sign-up (since it is required for the app to work)?
  • Make the error message clearer by prompting users to retry at least once (which will then work since the Google permissions request changes)?

Hi @buildertim, that’s really helpful feedback, thank you! I’m going to share this with the team.

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@buildertim: It can definitely be a pain point for users (and admins!) But this is Google’s authentication system and not something anyone else has control over.

That last checkbox is optional by design, as it’s something the user can consent to but isn’t technically mandatory from Google’s perspective, even though it’s needed for Stacker to do what’s expected; whereas the others are automatically checked because by using Google sign-up to register for a service you’ll necessarily be associating your Google account info with the 3rd party (Stacker in this example, but it applies to any service) – otherwise there is no Google sign-up.

Anyway, for Stacker or any other target service, this is opaque, so there isn’t a way to provide granular details to the user on what went wrong with the auth – and there are many different things can go wrong; not getting one particular permission, or the user not giving any at all, the result is the same. Adding “Try again” may encourage some people to do so, but when it isn’t clear to any involved what the problem was in the first place even that is not terribly helpful, unfortunately, even when we all have the best intentions for the user.

Thanks for bringing this up though, as it’s certainly something that comes up from time to time and may help others to be able to know the context!

Thanks for the reply @brenty. It depends on the use case for Stacker (we may be in the minority) but our app is an internal read-only content repository. It’s a nice front-end that turns a bunch of our spreadsheets into a browsable blog for employees.

External users can’t edit or create new records - only view. So it’s understandable why they’re not checking this box especially when it appears optional.

In any case, users are often lazy. They will drop off and spend more time raising a support ticket telling than it would take them to retry or just use email sign-up!

This then makes it harder to sell Stacker into a company as all the feedback is about how people can’t even register and not about the tool.

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@buildertim: I understand completely, especially given that specific use case. Steve Jobs said, “Nobody reads,” and in my experience that’s generally true too! XD

Anyway, I’d encourage you to write into support, to explore if there may be a better way to get your users registered and signed in. :slight_smile: