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Today I decided to review a journey for something I had to do a few times in the past – changing my password on Skype.com.

I remember it being a rather convoluted process, so much so, that I know more than a few people who actually created a new account just because they couldn’t recover or reset their passwords.

I’m hoping to discover that this has been improved.

Let’s dive right in.

User Persona

  • Woman, 35+, lives in Switzerland;
  • Online savvy, with a solid internet connection;
  • Uses Skype only on occasion, not as the main tool for video calls;

User Task

To visit Skype.com and reset the password for an existing Skype account.

Homepage

  • Immediately upon landing on the homepage I search for the ‘Log in’ button. My guess is that’s where I’m going to find a link to reset my password. ‘Sign in’ link at the top right will probably be the way to go.
  • Uhm, why hasn’t the ‘Sign in’ link given me a sign-in form, either on a page or on a drop-down? I went from wanting to take one specific action, to having to choose between 3 different actions. I think I’ll take my chances with the ‘My account’ link.
  • Oh good Lord, it’s one of those “This product belongs to a bigger business so you should sign in with something else, it’s not branded just Skype anymore, it’s Microsoft, hello!”
  • I’m not really sure that what I’m doing here is going to get me where I want to go, but it looks like I have no other option so I’m going to cross my fingers and keep going, slightly annoyed.
  • I click on the “Forgot password” link.
  • Wait, my Skype account isn’t on this email address, how can I change it? I’ll go with Cancel, although I don’t want to cancel my task, I just want to make changes.
  • I reach the previous step where I then click “Sign in with a different Microsoft account” – although I don’t want to sign in, I can’t remember my password, remember? Also, I still don’t know if Microsoft account is the same as Skype account!
  • I play along and use a different email address, then click on the ‘Forgot password’ link again. The screenshot would be repetitive so I’ll spare you.
  • I’ll chose an option my only option. The “I don’t have any of these” should say “I can’t verify my identity with this method”.
  • As soon as I select the option, the box expands asking me to provide the last 4 digits of my phone number. Why didn’t you say so before? This is becoming frustrating. And I’m still not sure this is going to get me where I need to go.
  • Why is there a link to “I have a code” if there hasn’t been any other way of me receiving it until now?
  • I put my last 4 digits, I’m waiting for the code. In the meantime I’m contemplating how I can reset my password if the code doesn’t arrive. The link to “Use a different verification option” just takes me back to the beginning where I only had this verification option anyway! Looping, anyone?
  • I received the code and successfully submitted it, to reach the password reset form. Yes, we’re getting there!
  • I change the password with no issues, and when I try to save it in my Lastpass, I realize that my new password is exactly the same as the old password (which, for this exercise, I pretended not to have). So why did Microsoft/Skype allow me to use the exact same password as the one I’m trying to override? Usually this isn’t allowed. This makes me a bit unsure whether I’ve changed the password for the right account or not. Let’s try to sign in to check.
  • I successfully sign in and the first thing I see is this notice suggesting that I start using a different sign-in method. Install and set up an app just for one service? No, thanks – which is what I click. (Shouldn’t there be a comma in the “No thanks”? I could be wrong.)
  • I reach an error page! Should I laugh or cry?

I’m out, I’ve got better things to do. Next time I’m just going to open a new account, it might be easier.