Editing Google Account Information Should Be More User-Friendly on Chromebooks
Abner Li of 9to5Google posted an article this week showing a new profile photo selector in Gmail for Android that allows users to swap their account image directly from the app instead of having to open the full page. Google account settings on the web. While useful, this shortcut is not yet available in all of Google’s apps, and I think the company can do better to provide users with more organic ways to edit their data on Chromebooks.
I understand that changing information directly through the account settings page keeps everything secure and unified in one place, but I think the data should be more natively accessible and adapt to the hardware used to access it. For example, when I was a Chromebook expert at Best Buy, many consumers over the years have come to me asking why they couldn’t change their Chromebook password from the device at all. Instead, they had to learn how to visit their Google Account from the web and then choose the option to reset password. Likewise, people would sometimes ask me why they had changed their Chromebook account image, but this new image was not syncing with their phone etc.
I think this represents an opportunity for Google to make the experience of Chromebook users more consistent. By providing a local password reset option on laptops which then changes their Google account password on all devices and in the cloud instead of forcing users to do everything from the web – one place that doesn’t immediately spring to mind for most people – they can do Chromebooks are much easier for the less savvy to adopt.
Likewise, by allowing local Chromebook account images to sync with Google Accounts instead of just changing the image on the device, the company can maintain a consistent experience across all of its hardware. I also like the idea of giving users a little camera icon in the corner of the profile picture directly through the quick settings menu on Chromebooks instead of having to change it through the Settings app. .
It would be more in line with Google’s attempts to deliver this solution via Gmail on Android (this shortcut is not yet available on my Chromebook via the Gmail app), it would take fewer steps, and it would make more sense overall. If you want to change your profile picture, why wouldn’t you just click on your profile picture, right? UX design should allow the user to use their common sense and reward them for thinking about things in a logical and linear way.
If adding a camera icon to the Quick Settings profile picture on Chromebooks would create too much clutter, which I could definitely see to be the case, clicking on it should bring users to the Settings app where they can currently edit their picture. I don’t believe it should be an either-or, per se, but rather one at a time-and. This is of course a problem for users like me who click on their profile picture to switch between logged-in accounts on their laptop, but I’m sure Google could find a logical solution for both use cases.
What I’m trying to say is that the more barriers Google removes for its users to get the most out of their data, the more likely they are to adopt new hardware and software and feel in control of those. -this. Just because Chromebooks were made for the web, they should continue to feel like a browser in a box for the most important data and privacy features.
We recently heard that the company has buried privacy controls in Google Maps so that people are less likely to find them, so besides having poor cohesion between its teams and projects, as I have demonstrated with today’s example, it looks like she just needs to rework some of her decisions to be less selfish and more in favor of all of her users. Let’s discuss all of this in the comments.