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Voting process rejects user login and loses votes contrary to what it announces
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Description

Quite often, on Wikipedia and other sites, a banner invites me — again and again — to vote for something.
Quite often, this ends up in an over-complicated process full of jargon, trapped with bugs and wrong directions and dead ends. Last time, I gave up voting.

The vote today is nicer. :-) But it is still buggy and not user-friendly.

On Wikipedia, a banner invites me to vote.
I go to this vote.
I get the page that starts with a little explanation: please make your votes here, all your votes are neutral by default, you may set your votes now and come back later and change them.
Fine.
I click the link for the presentation of a candidate, I come back to the voting page, I set my vote.
I do the same for another candidate...
I click other links too.
I go to other Web sites too.
I go back to the page of my votes.

I expect to find the same page as before, with my votes kept as promised.

Instead, I find a barrier. A page says that I must log in. But how? There is a little link “Log in” at the top right. See this screen photo:

Barrier. The page says that I must log in. But how? There is a little link “Log in” at the top right.

I click the link “Log in”. I try to log in.

I expect the auth to work and I expect to land on the page for voting, with my votes kept as promised.

Instead, I find a dead end. A page gives me an insult message: login error, no user “Nnemo”. The page asks me to log in. This turns the dead end into an infinite loop. ;-) See this screen photo:

Dead end. The page gives me an insult message: login error, no user “Nnemo”. The page asks me to log in. This turns the dead end into an infinite loop. ;-)

...

Finally, after circumventing the traps, I get back the voting page. I expect the voting page to have my votes kept, as promised. Instead, my votes are lost and the votes are all neutral.

It would be nice to fix and improve that.

Thank you.

I have Safari on iOS 8 on an iPad.

Nnemo

Event Timeline

Nnemo raised the priority of this task from to Needs Triage.
Nnemo updated the task description. (Show Details)
Nnemo added a project: MediaWiki-General.
Nnemo added a subscriber: Nnemo.

On clicking the button to send my votes, the same problems occur: the page saying that I must log in, and so on.

What is "the vote today" and how to find it?

Aklapper renamed this task from The voting process is not user-friendly, it rejects user login, and it loses the votes contrary to what it announces to Voting process rejects user login and loses votes contrary to what it announces.May 13 2015, 7:00 AM
Aklapper set Security to None.
Aklapper added a subscriber: Jalexander.

What is "the vote today" and how to find it?

It is no longer a vote today :) This is the FDC election that ended on Sunday (There is another one starting this Sunday though for the Board).

To the question at hand, sadly much of this is the SecurePoll system which I've been trying to find ways to make better and easier (and I think we we have) but it still has a ways to go for sure. I'm sorry that we didn't see this during the election itself but I am glad that you at least were able to vote in the end. Thanks Andre for adding me.

Some of these issues are core issues in SecurePoll that will be tough to fix quickly but I want to help developers make more changes in the future as well and so they are very good to document to help find where to focus. Other things I want to try and make more user friendly or at least 'easier' to work around the problems. Let me know if any of these sound like they could help.

  • Need to log in
    • The SecurePoll system uses a completely different log in system sadly, so attempting to 'log in' to voteWiki won't actually help (even if you could you wouldn't necessarily be able to vote) it gets it's "log in" info when you are sent from Meta, the first page you landed on after clicking the banner.
    • Do you think this would be a bit easier if we put a big "start voting over" or "get back to fresh ballot" type link on the side bar and/or the home page/log in page? Perhaps with a note on the log in page that they can't log in to vote? I know that isn't perfect but at least will let people know to stop trying and how to get back to the start.
  • Following links and then coming back to have issues (log in/empty ballot etc)
    • Hmm, I don't know a good way to stop the issues if you use the back button a couple times without working with some more major changes that won't be ready for the next election (Sunday for 2 weeks, then we'll have a year or two to make changes :) ). One thought I have that might be helpful though, is would it be useful if I made all of the links auto open in a new tab or window? That way the 'vote' page remains open in it's own tab/window and you can go back and change things/vote without navigating away and potentially having issues?
  • Empty ballot
    • This one is also tough sadly, the best thing I can come up with is the 'open links in new tab' option above and making sure it doesn't time out or anything too early. You can always change you vote (come back and revote) but even there it's always a fresh ballot because the system encrypts your vote (and can't read it back to refill the selections). It's possible with more work they could find a secure way to do it in the session.

So, no perfect answers right now but I really appreciate you filing this so that we can try to make the whole process better. From my experience it IS better then it has been in the past 2-10 years for this type of election but... that isn't saying much :).

Change 210849 had a related patch set uploaded (by Jalexander):
Open external links on voteWiki in new tab/window

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/210849

Change 210849 merged by jenkins-bot:
Open external links on voteWiki in new tab/window

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/210849

Removed Patch-For-Review as that got merged but keeping task open as I assume there's more to fix here

Thank you @Jalexander for taking interest in this issue.

One thought I have that might be helpful though, is would it be useful if I made all of the links auto open in a new tab or window? That way the 'vote' page remains open in it's own tab/window and you can go back and change things/vote without navigating away and potentially having issues?

No. This is a FBI: fausse bonne idée. :-)

These “opening links” are a horrible non-standard thing. They give very bad user experience, especially on mobile devices. On Wikimedia sites, links are normal, so the user expects links to open normally. Breaking this would give a bad surprise to the user.

The user controls whether s/he wants to open the links in other windows or tabs, and anyway that does not solve the problem, as we will see.

Tonight, Wikimedia invited me to vote in another election. I had the voting page, and I kept it. This time, no navigating back. From this page, I opened several links to the presentation of candidates, in new windows. With Firefox Mac. When I had set my votes, I sent the form. And I encountered the same issues: “log in” trap, dead end, and so on.

When the user sends the form with the votes, the form is expected to just work. I think that this is the first thing to fix here. And probably the easiest.

Tonight, Wikimedia invited me to vote in another election.

In the voting page, for the candidate Nisar Ahmed Syed, the link to the presentation does not work. So the election is not fair. You may want to do something about that.

In the voting page, for the candidate

This is unrelated to what this task is about. One problem per task only, please.

The link for Nisar Ahmed Syed works for me - I am guessing that it is browser sensitive. I have changed it to a more generic link.

Opening links in a new window is not ideal - but the best solution given the technical constraints we are working within for now.

As for the votes not holding, the instructions say that if you return they will reset to neutral. That is intentional to prevent someone from being able to see how someone else (perhaps using their computer) voted in the elections. Per the instructions:
"You can return to change your votes any time while voting is open. All of your votes will be reset to "neutral" and you will have to re-enter any support or oppose votes."

Opening links in a new window is not ideal - but the best solution given the technical constraints we are working within for now.

From my experience (see past comment), it would not fix anything.