Andy Delcambre
Software Engineer at GitHub. Ruby programmer. Photographer.

Google vs. Yahoo17 Dec 2007

I have recently had to sign up for both a Google and Yahoo! maps api key. There is a world of difference between the two sign up processes. First we have yahoo.

There are eight required form fields. Some of which I don’t even necessarily have an answer for. Product name? Description? I want to just play with some maps!

Then there is the authentication section, apparently connect to the non-authentication web services with the generic option, is maps non-authenticated? Kinda hard to know. And there is another question about access scopes which to the uninitiated seems to be asking the same thing as authentication. Over all very confusing (and I consider myself to be fairly technical).

Now, compare to the Google Maps Api Key form.

We have two fields, and one is a checkbox agreeing to the terms of service. Couldn’t get any simpler.

What is the lesson here? Only ask for as much information as you absolutely need to allow the user to start using your application. If I wasn’t using Yahoo! Maps for a client project, I would have given up and gone back to Google.