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Posted by Eve Maler on August 28, 2013
If you ever need a belly laugh, visit the site DamnYouAutocorrect.com (warning: it’s often not safe for work). It’s also a great illustration of why you shouldn’t just force users through the same exact login procedure when they use mobile apps versus full-fledged browser windows: hitting all the right tiny keys is hard work, and often the software behind the scenes is helpfully trying to “correct” everything you type.
Responsive design is all the rage in consumer web app design, and for good reason: users can put down one device, pick up another, and change the screen orientation in mere moments, and app developers can’t afford to miss a trick in optimizing the user experience. Similarly, in researching current authentication methods and trends, we’ve come to believe more strongly than ever in adapting your user authentication methods to your population, the interaction channel they’re using, your business goal, your risk, and your ability to pick up on contextual clues about the user’s legitimacy or lack thereof. Call it responsive design for authentication.
When we published our recent Customer Authentication Assessment Framework research (the report comes with a spreadsheet tool), we deliberately focused on onboarding, login, step-up authentication, and account recovery for – yes – customers, most particularly consumers. Why? Because the framework takes into account usability characteristics just as much as security characteristics, and security pros delivering solutions to Marketing had better have good answers when they propose adding friction to the login experience.
But we’ve found that we answer as many client inquiries about usability and user tolerance for employee and partner populations as for consumers and other customers. As a result, we’re now working on an Authentication Market Overview that aims to capture the state of the art in identity verification and authentication solutions across web, mobile, and voice channels, for all user scenarios.
As a sample of the concerns coming up, I fielded the following questions in our recent webinar on the assessment framework:
We’ve already sent out invitations to nearly three dozen vendors to participate in this new research effort, but we may be able to squeeze in a few more sources. If you’ve got a particular area of interest or concern around authentication, verification, and account recovery, let me know in the comments or reach out to me on Twitter!
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