Here’s how UX design can protect users’ security and privacy
Many people don’t realize ux design can protect their privacy. TheNextWeb shared a very informative tips about it and we want you to enjoy it
It’s time for bed, but first, a few routine tasks:
- Put on pajamas.
- Brush teeth.
- Open windows.
- Unlock doors.
- Place wallet, personal documents, and banking information in a convenient pile on the kitchen counter.
If that scenario is unsettling, consider how often the same sensitive information is entered into our digital devices. Without the proper security protocols in place, our assets and identities are easy prey. Worse, as designers of digital interfaces, a disregard for security places users at risk—financially, professionally, relationally, and emotionally.
Security isn’t a trend or promotional tactic, it’s a crucial aspect of user experience and interface design.
The ideal interface is simple to operate and safeguarded against attempts to steal users’ private information. Delivering such a design is typically framed as a tradeoff between usability and security:
- If the interface is easy to use, it’s less secure.
- If it’s secure, it’s more difficult to use.
This tradeoff is a myth. We can design interfaces that are simple and secure without compromising the quality of either. Here, UX designers play a critical role by ensuring that both technical demands and user needs are met.
In many ways, UX designers are interpreters. They decipher technical requirements and make them understandable for users. They also exercise situational awareness by deciding when to focus on simplicity or when to involve sophisticated security measures. Balance is key, but it can only be achieved by including all stakeholders from the earliest stages of design.
Get stakeholders involved in UX security early
There are multiple parties that must be consulted to design a secure and successful digital product. For instance, design teams have to ensure that their products comply with relevant regulations like HIPAA for the healthcare industry and PCI DSS for banking and financial services. Also, security features implemented by design teams must meet the standards set by the technical teams behind digital products.
When it comes to security, it’s not uncommon for user input to be ignored. But to truly meet users’ security needs, designers must grasp their motivations, behaviors, and expectations. Often, users know very little about digital security, so designers ought to learn to anticipate the levels of risk that users will face as they navigate through various screens and features. The earlier risks can be identified within the design process, the better.
Ignoring stakeholders or incorporating their input late in the design process doubles the risk. It can open security holes in products that could have otherwise been prevented, or it can lead to products that are so secure they’re barely usable.
Design methods for product security
Encryption is a method of converting sensitive information into a code that appears to be random. It’s an important design consideration in digital products with communication features. In apps where calls, texts, videos, images, and documents are frequently exchanged (think WhatsApp), end-to-end encryption ensures that only the users involved in a conversation can see the data being exchanged.
This means that no one, not the company behind an app, not data criminals, not even the government, can see the content of messages. When users know that their information is protected by such measures, they’re much more willing to extend trust.
It is essential to verify that only the owner of an account can log in—and that all intruders are locked out. Authentication is the most effective way to secure digital products from unauthorized access. Features like usernames and password requirements ought to be identified and tested early in the design process.
For additional security, two-factor authentication (2FA) can be added. With 2FA, a username and password are entered, and a log-in code is sent to a mobile phone or email address.
Read more here.