Invest in a good website and user registration process. Don't do what Sony does.

I recently purchased a Sony Bravia TV.

This is the second Bravia TV I own and I come from a long line of Sony purchasers. The TVs are great quality and I have never had any problems with them.

Until that is, I had to register the new TV. For the second time, a few weeks after my first registration.

The Sony Bravia TV registration process is the worst thing you will ever encounter. Trust me or read on:


Problem One

The registration URL the TV asked me to visit was long. Unnecessaily and unhelpfully long, especially as I had no choice but to enter each letter into my iPhone's browser. 

If you require a user to enter a URL, surely it should be obvious that you only make them enter the shortest possible URL.

Twice over, I typed it in wrong and had to start again. It was something like: which (after a wine or two) is not the easiest URL to type in your phone, especially as you cannot see the whole URL on screen at the same time.

What I would do: use a link or a shorter URL. 


Problem Two

Then when I got there the page looked like this: 

Don't mess around with the international symbol for menu Sony...

I had no idea what to do so I clicked the logo, which took me to another URL outside of where I needed to be!

I then clicked back and clicked the only other element that looked remotely clickable: the three bars.

Turns out that is the navigation. If you can believe.

What I would do: provide some instructions and guide people on the path; you know why they are there so help them along.

And don't mess with navigation. Ever. Studies show the highest converting hamburger navigation is three black or white stripes with the word menu next to them; not three, oversized and oddly placed bars.  See below:

This is what a mobile menu should look like Sony...


Problem Three

I then couldn't remember the password I initially assigned to my account when I first registered my TV, so I had to reset it.

In order to reset one's password, one needs to complete (guess?) a CAPTCHA and re-enter in one's email. Again.

My first two attempts at recognising the captcha were unsuccessful.

Without wine, I would probably have given up at this stage, though third time lucky, only to be presented with the requirement for me to provide my Date of Birth; more frigging around on a 4 inch iPhone. 

Thanks Sony. This experience is something else.

What I would do: Put in a hidden field. Don't use a CAPTCHA - ever - unless you really have to, which you never need to. I wrote a blog about this previously.

CAPTCHAS are as bad as Son't website...

Die Sony die...

Make it stop...


Problem Four

Next, I had to create a new password though of course in Sonyworld, the password had to have eight characters, at least one of which had to be a number and if using multiple numbers, these numbers could not be sequential. It took me three attempts to unlock this invisible password requirement.

A three deep breaths to think about what my password should or had to be.

What I would do: let users put in any password they want. One of my colleagues wrote a good blog about this recently.


Sony pushed me too hard

At this point, I gave up. The process was punishment and I had no concept of when it would end and I certainly did not want to find out. Sony broke me and they won.

Sony I love your hardware but your website and registration process needs some serious work; your security is onerous and a total killer on a small screen.

I know you're security conscious, especially after the Playstation network was hacked a few years back, though you're really punishing your paying customers and quite unnecessarily. Plenty of other companies don't do this to their customers and neither should you.