I wrote this as a comment at first, but just remember today my wife had a different user case that demonstrates how bad it is.
To answer your specific question: Not at all. As a matter of fact, I wrote an article (in Spanish, can be seen here) . Just the title translation: *Failure in usability, accessibility and security... all at the same time".
The article example illustrated just a common user case: I had to access my account at an internet cafe and forgot my glasses. From there, all hell broke loose. The conclusion from that article was "It's not the best, but certainly not the worse"
Today, I have to review that opinion.
Another User Case... Another Failure
My wife had to check their mails on an old Google account she didn't use for months. She also had to use her new computer in our new office.
She tried her most common passwords, to no avail. So she asked for the security question, and somehow it was wrong (granted, my wife is the kind of person who forgets everything, but still).
She finally asked for a code to be sent to her recovery email address on file, this time from Yahoo.
Once she got the code, she tried to use it and got a message like
"Sorry, we couldn't verify this login, try another method"
So she finally had to ask for it to be sent by phone, for which she had to include a phone since she didn't have it on file. Then she had to move between device screens
(phone --> computer) to actually get the code, enter it and finally after 15-20 minutes she actually got access to her account.
While my user case might have been somehow edge-ish (personally, I think forgetting your glasses isn't exactly edgy, but well...), the one for my wife is really really common.
Besides, you would think a company like Google would test common cases like.... using another computer!. This is not an edge case, this is the whole definition of nowadays state-of-the-art, and they're failing miserably at it. Funny thing is 2 years ago the process was almost flawless and way more secure!
Schneiderman's 8 Golden Rules of Interface Design
For those that think this is just an opinion based on specific user
cases, there are commonly accepted heuristics to measure this,
starting by "Shneiderman's Eight Golden Rules of Interface
Design". Read below:
These rules were obtained from the text Designing the User Interface
by Ben Shneiderman. Shneiderman proposed this collection of principles
that are derived heuristically from experience and applicable in most
interactive systems after being properly refined, extended, and
interpreted . To improve the usability of an application it is
important to have a well designed interface. Shneiderman's "Eight
Golden Rules of Interface Design" are a guide to good interaction
1 Strive for consistency. Consistent sequences of actions should be
required in similar situations; identical terminology should be used
in prompts, menus, and help screens; and consistent commands should be
Debatable. Obviously, having to jump between devices is not the most consistent experience you will find. But let's admit that it's consistent between devices, so it's 50/50
2 Enable frequent users to use shortcuts. As the frequency of use
increases, so do the user's desires to reduce the number of
interactions and to increase the pace of interaction. Abbreviations,
function keys, hidden commands, and macro facilities are very helpful
to an expert user.
Fail Obviously, having to jump between devices you won't be able to use any shortcuts at all. Furthermore, interactions are increased, even in the friendliest scenario. This is an objective measure, so there no much room for debate.
3 Offer informative feedback. For every operator action, there should
be some system feedback. For frequent and minor actions, the response
can be modest, while for infrequent and major actions, the response
should be more substantial.
Debatable. You can say that feedback is informative, even if what to do with that is a bit inconsistent and you'll have feedback on one device and not on another. But well, let's say that is not a complete failure.
4 Design dialog to yield closure. Sequences of actions should be
organized into groups with a beginning, middle, and end. The
informative feedback at the completion of a group of actions gives the
operators the satisfaction of accomplishment, a sense of relief, the
signal to drop contingency plans and options from their minds, and an
indication that the way is clear to prepare for the next group of
Failure. Can we agree this is not even close to reality? Quite the opposite!
5 Offer simple error handling. As much as possible, design the system
so the user cannot make a serious error. If an error is made, the
system should be able to detect the error and offer simple,
comprehensible mechanisms for handling the error.
Failure. Again, if doing the simplest action requires to: a) have another device or b) go back to your home and use the same device you always used it's more than clear that you can't handle errors in a simple way. For example... what if I don't have a mobile phone and I'm out of home? I can't access MY OWN INFORMATION! The definition of anti-usability!
6 Permit easy reversal of actions. This feature relieves anxiety,
since the user knows that errors can be undone; it thus encourages
exploration of unfamiliar options. The units of reversibility may be a
single action, a data entry, or a complete group of actions.
Failure. Obviously, having to jump between devices this is literally impossible.
7 Support internal locus of control. Experienced operators strongly
desire the sense that they are in charge of the system and that the
system responds to their actions. Design the system to make users the
initiators of actions rather than the responders.
Failure. The biggest failure of all: Google denies control to users on purpose.
8 Reduce short-term memory load. The limitation of human information
processing in short-term memory requires that displays be kept simple,
multiple page displays be consolidated, window-motion frequency be
reduced, and sufficient training time be allotted for codes,
mnemonics, and sequences of actions.
Debatable. Personally I think it's a failure, but if we accept that performing simple actions will require multiple devices and processes and it's still acceptable UX (and I really have not a clue how we got to this acceptance), then maybe we can let this one pass.
Problem is that Google was always concerned about being seen as very secure. After all, they have the data of almost anyone in the world! However, while Google has great UX teams, UX and usability were never the strongest sides of Google (I don't know why, since their UX teams are amazing. Probably politics and egos, but really don't know).
Bottom line is: If a common user case becomes a nightmare, then the answer is no, it's really bad