You’re signed in to your account at XYZ.com and need help. What do you do? You might check out the FAQs or you might click the “Help” button.
In the case of NetVibes, if you click “Help” you’ll find yourself at Forums. And even if you are logged in to your account (you probably would not be looking for help if you weren’t logged in!) you’ll see the “Sign In” prompt, whether or not it’s your first time there.
The FAQ may or may not render. Notice that on the FAQ page, Help now appears in the upper right navigation. (It was missing on Manage.) Help even has its own page, although it’s not a clickable word in the footer. [These are design woes separate from the issue of needing a new login for Forums.]
Wait. It gets worse.
Use your netvibes email and password to log in.
What? The world has too many lawyers:
I clicked “continue registration” and found myself … not in the Forums. No, I was back at my main Dashboard page, with no links to the Forum or Help.
And why was I trying to get into the Forums? Because my design/theme has disappeared and my public page is now unreadable. And I can find nothing — nada — that provides the slightest clue as to how to adjust the design of my public page.
So I navigate (four clicks) back to the Forums. I have to sign in — even though I’m logged in and just went through a hoop. Finally, NetVibes presents me with the page that I should have seen only if I wanted to reply or start a new thread:
Unfortunately, logging in did not miraculously serve up a search box, so the user Forums are, in effect, useless.
This is why I’ve never warmed to NetVibes. The user experience is, in a word, horrible. I have friends who love the service, which I agree is kinda cool. Or it would be if I could make my public page readable. But getting there? Holy cow.