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New device authorization

What purpose does the second entry serve? Why are they making us go through the hassle of entering in a random character string twice, when we can clearly see it the first time we type it in?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Charles Wesley, Graham Herrli, Evil Closet Monkey, Benny Skogberg, Joshua Barron Oct 13 '14 at 18:37

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I would generally disagree that this duplicates either of those questions. This is neither something I must rely on at a future date (as in the case of email, which I frequently type without much care) nor is it a hidden field where I may have mistyped without knowing. I really can't think of a single reason this UI is justified, which is why I asked. – emragins Oct 11 '14 at 5:17
  • Actually, going out on a limb, maybe they only give me one try to type it correctly and so they want me to type it twice for client-side validation. I didn't try the wrong code to see what would happen, but I can't imagine something so extreme. – emragins Oct 11 '14 at 5:18
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It's simple: their design makes no sense.

Entering something twice has a purpose when there is no recourse if you get it wrong the first time:

  • If you type your password wrong when setting it, you won't be able to log in (and you can't see your password, so it's easy to make a mistake).
  • If you enter your email address wrong, the organization has no way to contact you.

This problem doesn't exist for confirmation codes--if you enter it wrong the first time, the system should simply let you try again. Of course you wouldn't want to let someone try again indefinitely, since they could try to guess the code. But there is no harm in letting the user try a handful of times to get it right. Alternatively, the system could always send a new confirmation code.

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Sometimes these odd UX choices don't come directly from the designer but rather from legal or another group within an organization. It's common to see these patterns when dealing with security & authentication.

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