But the one thing that *really* put me off was the poor user interface. Lastpass hasn't been designed, it has been programmed. I'm not talking about the aesthetics (which were also quite poor, especially compared to competitors like Dashlane and 1Password), but the UI flow. The vault is a real jumble of things I'll outline below. I realise part of this is due to the fact that most of the competitors are native applications, and therefore UI can be honed. But web technologies and especially HTML5 have put a lot of power into a web app's hands, examples like Github really prove how you can design a powerful web-technology based tool.
The good news is that the aesthetics in V3.0 is much improved, it looks more modern and is less noisy than V2.5x (fuzzy low res garish icons everywhere and a vault that looked like an accounting form from the web in 2003). And for example the "edit site" form, as it is less noisy and messy (and looks more "standard" in layout like the buttons), is actually also now easier to use. And custom edit fields are a nice touch! Oh and while I'm at it, field menus, are a nice step up from the clunky icons from V2.5...
But overall the design is still far from ideal -- this is in V3.0. To be practical I'll bullet-point some examples (not exhaustive), to be clear in terminology I'll be referring to the Actions sidebar, Vault "tabs" that run above the main sites table, and the user * menu button at the top-right.
- Why is "User Manual" in the Actions sidebar but tutorials in the Vault Tabs, two different interfaces for documentation.
- Why isn't Import/Export (currently in the *Menu) an Action but Settings is?
- Actions seem to be contextual to which tab is active, but you then have things like User Manual, Settings, Security Check which have no context unique to the displayed tab.
- Why do I have to look at an Enterprise tab if I'm not an enterprise user?
- Most of the Actions sidebar is empty. Does it really serve such a valuable role to take so much Vault space?
Most of the alternatives to Lastpass I've tried use a left-to-right structuring of hierarchical information, the "sidebar" are the top-level groupings, the next pane are the items, and the right side is the information on the selected item. This gives a very clean visual indication.
On a second level, there is also some missing functionality that would be helpful:
- Non-contiguous selection of vault items.
- Drag-n-drop ordering in a manual sort mode
- Being able to click table headers to auto-sort.
- Why oh why is "edit site" a separate browser tab and not a inline floating widget?
Right, enough of my post for the moment. V3.0 is a step forwards and I'll be happy to upgrade. But I really think Lastpass would benefit from a dedicated UI/interaction designer to really give a proper workover of the user interface, I'm happy to wait till V4.0...