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July 17, 2008

OpenID and usability

Hot on the heels of my own post about the unsatisfactory nature of usability within Shibboleth-based federations, Mike Ellis has a nice post about the usability problems with OpenID.

Overall, I pretty much agree with where Mike is coming from on this.  My own experience of trying to use OpenID tends to one of confusion (possibly because my use of Sxipper makes the situation worse?).  As I said in a comment on Mike's post:

Something needs doing. Browser plugins might help - but I’m generally sceptical about such things because requiring a browser plugin for what is essentially ‘core’ Web functionality indicates a serious mis-match somewhere.

I’m still hopeful that things will get better.

In general, I tend to recommend Sxipper rather than OpenID for people who want help managing multiple usernames/passwords - but Sxipper is no way perfect either. I wouldn’t recommend it to my mum for example.

Information cards anyone - yes, I’m probably clutching at straws.


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I used to use Sxipper but switched laptops a while ago and did not bother to reinstall. I was interested in his remark that users forget their openid. My life is a string of forgotten passwords and one forgotten Openid.

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