HFES Offers Tips on Improving Website Password Practices

Internet users are increasingly asked to register with a user name and password before being able to access the content of many websites. In an upcoming Ergonomics in Design article, "A Passport to Password Best Practices," from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), human factors/ergonomics researchers Soolmaz Moshfeghian and Young Sam Ryu identify impediments to efficient password creation and provide design strategies for enhancing the user experience.

Because there is no standard method for setting up passwords, each website employs its own set of requirements and restrictions. After investigating the pros and cons of design-related features of the requirement and restriction practices of 90 popular websites, the authors found that more than half the sites failed to display password guidance prior to the first attempt. Users may receive multiple error messages if their chosen passwords do not line up with system requirements, which can lead to confusion and frustration for the user and increased operating expenses for system administrators.

The authors offer a number of recommendations for Web designers seeking to improve the user experience: Provide users with password requirements prior to their first attempt; use clear and concise language to communicate the password requirements; present, at a minimum, length and character requirements; and avoid placing password requirements in the entry box.

“This study helps us gain more insight into the current state of password practices and helps create more intuitive and empathic interactions,” Moshfeghian said. “Intuitive password practices lead to increased user trust and thus user sustainability. In short, the optimal goal is to humanize interfaces, make them as intuitive as possible, and bridge the gap between users and interfaces.”

Enhancing user experience through effective password practices can have many benefits. A more user-friendly registration process may produce a larger number of successfully registered accounts, which can translate into increased sales and a more recognizable brand. Fewer failed registration attempts can result in reduced system maintenance, security, and password recovery costs.

  • Securing Entertainment Venues Securing Entertainment Venues

    One thing entertainment venues, sports stadiums and theme park officials want to accomplish is getting people back into their seats. That is happening today—but not without understanding and technology. In this episode, AJ DeRosa shares his insight on how COVID-impacted businesses are able to face safety and security issues with confidence and technology. We also discuss visitor expectations and how venue officials can ensure their space is secure as they welcome visitors back.

Digital Edition

  • Environmental Protection
  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Infrastructure Solutions Group
  • Spaces4Learning
  • Campus Security & Life Safety