Design for when there is no “later”

Screenshot of Reset Password screen with the message: Too many verification attempts. You have entered incorrect security information too many times. Try again later.

My mother and I are trying set up the Photo app to automatically import photos from her phone. Since my father died in June, she has been using her phone much more, including the camera. At family gatherings she takes photos of people, couples, and families. They are some of the best photos, since we are at our most beautiful when smiling at someone we love dearly.

We are trying to log into the iCloud account set up by my father, using Apple’s iForgot service — an unfortunate and insensitive name for our use case.

“It’s asking, ‘In which city were you first kissed?’ Where did you and Daddy first kiss?,” I ask, smiling. She shakes her head. “I don’t know if I was his first kiss,” she answers. “Well, let’s just try,” I say, determined. “It was Danbury, I think. Yes, Danbury,” she replies. I enter “Danbury” into the input field.

“Now it’s asking, ‘Which of the cars you’ve owned has been your favorite?’” My father had a wide variety of cars in his lifetime — a farm truck, a VW bus that fit seven kids, a luxury sedan in his retirement. “I’ll try the Lexus,” I say, uncertainly. Was my father the kind of man who would reminisce about the car of his youth, his parenthood, or the golden years of his retirement?

I click Submit.

“One or more of your answers does not match the security information on file.”

We try again, with other kissing places and favorite cars, trying to get inside my father’s head and heart, missing him terribly.

“Too many verification attempts. You have entered incorrect security information too many times. Try again later.”


Design for edge cases. They are real and they matter.


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