Are Sites Considering OpenID or Not

Dec
2
2007

Are we being locked out of OpenID

OpenID is a really great idea. It allows you have a single point of login combined with the ease of the use of a multiple profile based identity. I’m a bit of a supporter of OpenID and it’s universal adoption. But maybe some aren’t as fully committed as expected.

Now you would think that the sites promoting that they are using OpenID would be really making a moderate attempt to see it presented as an alternative to the standard login account creation process.

Well for a good percentage I would say yes, they are. But there are a number of high profile sites that have lead me to create this list. I’m not going to name who is doing what wrong. But you maybe able to guess if you know the sites concerned.

Suggestions on How to Present OpenID

  1. Make it easy to find the field you have to put your existing OpenID URL in. Don’t go hide it on the login page with a small link that requires javascript to be activated to see it. Put it up front on the sign up page, and not in really small font that can barely be read.
  2. Use the standardised OpenID logo near the OpenID field, this helps with people that know what it’s all about.
  3. Provide an explanation as to what OpenID is. Or at least a link to the list of OpenID providers.
  4. Focus on testing your implementation of OpenID with all the major providers. People will come to your site with existing OpenIDs.
  5. Consider the loyal users of your site that have an existing login. Ensure your system allows for these users. Such that they can use OpenID to login to their existing account as well.
  6. For Providers, that had other services before becoming a OpenID providers. You are not the centre of the universe and people are going to want to use other OpenID providers and are going to want to login using someone else’s OpenID service besides yours to use the functionality you provided before you started using OpenID. They are usually loyal users, consider not alienating. Give them the freedom to use other OpenID providers to login to your site.
  7. People setup multiple profiles on their OpenID, they want the information in the nominated profile taken up and used in their profile on your site and don’t want to have to re-key the same information all the time.
  8. When using emails with confirmation URLs on a regular basis it’s a good idea to keep them simple and allow an auto login that doesn’t use the same long multiple variable URL as this will cause reconfirmation each time with the OpenID provider.

There just a few points, I know it’s early days with OpenID, but people let’s just apply a few of the usability skills we all have to the implementation of OpenID as well.

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