Tag Archives: life

In Praise of Loose Security

Sometimes, what seems the obvious way of dealing with a problem may not be the best solution. For example, it turns out that if you remove traffic controls from busy city centres and rely on peoples’ instinct for self-preservation, you may get better road safety than if you imposed traditional control interventions (see also “shared spaces“).

There may be a lesson here in the design of online account registration and log in for web sites. Most UX designers assume that any user account system they’re designing for requires as much security as possible. Nobody got fired for being too safe. But this is probably bad design practice, for two reasons: it ignores context, and it’s a missed opportunity to start propagating the cultural change that we all need to make when it comes to online security. The latter is surely the ultimate aim of UX design – not only to design individual systems, but in doing so, bring about positive changes to people’s lives.

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