I am in a dilema, currently designing a login screen, to recover their passwords users will be relying exclusively on (SMS).

Is it worth setting users expectation to the type of recovery mechanism used before they have actually clicked on "forgot my password" I am specifically thinking a tooltip on hover or an icon?

The main idea being that users will be advised to have their mobile ready to receive the recovery-code.

  • Is this login page accessible on mobile ?
    – Mervin
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 12:02
  • Yes. however anticipated usage on mobile is very limited.
    – Okavango
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 12:04

1 Answer 1


In your case I would add a short explanation about the SMS mode in the "Forgot my password" screen. At the same time, I wouldn't show this information in the login screen.
Reading and interpreting the recovery mode is an extra cognitive effort that is relevant only to a small fraction of users (those who don't remember their password) and can therefore be shown in the next screen:

Extra thoughts:

  • Since the recovery mode here is different from what we can assume most users will expect (SMS instead of email), I would make the text slightly more prominent than usual.
  • I would also add a link to the HELP/FAQs section. In fact, what happens if the user needs to recover the password but cannot temporarily receive SMSs (e.g., I'm in the tube and I'm connected just via WI-FI OR I'm abroad and I'm navigating using the hotel WI-FI and I don't want to pay the roaming to receive an SMS)?
  • +1. If you have the phonenumber already you should still show this screen and tell the user what to expect. "Forgot your password?" shouldn't be a direct call-to-action button.
    – Kweamod
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 10:57

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