When single sign on gets scary

Single sign on is getting more prolific around the web, with many sites allowing you to use your social media credentials to log into a site. However, what happens when you realise that when you go to a website for the first time, they already have your details?

Thats what happened to me when I went to schemer.com a website by google. The homepage already had my full name printed in a welcome message even though I had never been to the site before.

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This for me was very scary.

I’d imagine that the majority of web users feel that they retain some sort of anonymity when they surf online. However, if you work in the web industry, you know this isn’t the case. But for a site to display their knowledge of you so clearly doesn’t help with the users experience. The user will start to ask questions about how the site knew this information about them, and become distracted.

Even though it is a Google product, it would’ve been better for the user experience to first acknowledge the fact that they may have some information about the user with a prompt.

The only saving grace is that there is a google logo beside your name, so the user realises that its not a random site that somehow has their personal details, but in fact google where they have an account and are signed in somewhere.