How Wallet ruined the Google IO 2013 registration

first_imgAs Android’s market share grows and software like Chrome OS become more popular, so does the desire to attend Google’s main event. This means every year the registration process for Google’s I/O developer conference gets more difficult and the competition to get a ticket ramps up. This year Google seemed to have everything under control, but it looks like many users feel the search giant tripped at the finish line.The I/O registration process was entirely Google-centric this year. You needed a Google+ account, with your payment information pre-loaded into Google Wallet. After that everyone was told that if you followed the instructions you’d have a fair shot getting in.The instructions were simple, though mildly akin to being told not to look down when standing somewhere very high. If you parked yourself at the I/O registration page a few minutes before 10AM ET, you’d be put in line to get a ticket. Registrants were warned: Don’t refresh, don’t mess with the site, and don’t have multiple tabs open if you want things to go smoothly and to ensure your place in line. Google gave people plenty of warning and explained everything clearly, but smooth is about the furthest thing from how most would describe today’s registration.If you were waiting well in advance, the website shifted at 9:30 to a countdown for the registration to be open. As the count drew closer to zero, the color changed to a bright red, just in case you weren’t starting at the ticking clock. When the virtual doors opened, a loading ring GIF sat and informed you that Google was searching for a ticket to give you.If this didn’t timeout and offer you an Error 500 page, you were to confirm your information and head to checkout. Google placed a five minute timer on registration, and at the end of that period your ticket was put back in the general access pile. Five minutes would be more than enough time to checkout under normal circumstances. Unfortunately, Google’s own checkout service hung for many, leaving them unable to complete the transaction in time.Google Wallet offered users a different loading ring, this time in an attempt to pull the records for their payment information. Given Google’s stern warnings regarding refreshing or tampering with the site, users were left with little option but to sit and watch as the clock counted down on the registration. When it did inevitably time out, they had to start the process over and hope that they would not suffer the same fate as before. After 45 minutes of the process, social networks finally began to populate with users who had gotten tickets to the conference. Minutes later, the website announced that tickets were sold out.Every year it seems Google’s services fail in one key place during the registration process. The problems seem to always come back to the same issue, that these services are unable to scale under load. Last year the registration page suffered from a denial of service style flood of refreshing users attempting to get a ticket. This year users were discouraged from that behavior, but Google was still unable to deliver an acceptable experience.last_img read more

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