It’s that time of the week again – I’m going to pick a feature in Chrome OS and complain that I wish it was slightly different. No, in all fairness, I am constantly thinking about the user experience on my Chromebook and how it can be improved. I really want Google’s operating system to reach new levels and attract new users, and I want to express my thoughts on this stuff in the hope that it gets the attention of both Chromium developers and May your gears turn on the future possibilities of this exciting platform that we all discuss daily.
Today I wanted to discuss something that has been quite frustrating for me over the past year: the location and functionality of the sign out button. It is placed too close to the user’s profile picture in the quick settings area of the shelf and works with one click. This can immediately get you thinking about how anyone who clicks “ sign out ” intentionally does it and how that does its job, right? Not always. The problem arises when users like me use the built-in feature that allows you to simultaneously sign in to multiple user accounts and quickly switch between them.
Although I normally switch between accounts using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt +
The issue I’ve been having lately is that a few times after I have logged into all of my accounts and lots of web apps have been opened and a solid workflow is underway for each one, I will open the quick settings menu and I’ll try to jump to the switching user section above, only to accidentally click “Log out all” instead! When you’re moving at standard speed while using the Chromebook, it’s easier than you might think to click on it instead of your profile picture.
As a result, all of my progress so far is logged out for each Google Account and the processes I was running are terminated. Yes, they sync to the cloud and resume after I log back in, thanks to Google’s new restore feature, but it’s extremely annoying and inconvenient. I could just be more careful, and I won’t say that, but if it keeps happening then the fault is not just the use of the device.
It might be more beneficial for Google to add a sign out confirmation button to the sign out process. Windows has had this forever, and so far I’ve loved that Chrome OS has ruled it out because it makes the operating system simpler and less outdated. However, if I could enable this option in the settings, or if it would just check with me before signing out of anything I wanted to do while multiple accounts are logged in, then that would be much appreciated. A simple dialog box asking “Are you sure?” would be wonderful! Alternatively, the developers could move the location of the button somewhere further to the right, but my previous suggestion seems more viable.
While this all sounds small and insignificant to most, this feature acting the way it does caused me more headaches than I want to admit, and I’m willing to bet I’m not alone. I might just be too haphazard in the way I use my mouse and trackpad, but taking such an issue into account would be worth it for the Chromium team, I think. Have you ever accidentally logged out and wished you were asked if you were sure? Let me know in the comments and be sure to let me know if there is anything about your Chromebook user experience that frustrates you or could use an improvement!