MySpaceID Usability Testing


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This is a presentations of our findings from usability testing of OAuth, OpenID, and the Hybrid protocol. This was originally presented at the OpenID Usability Summit hosted at Facebook on Feb. 10th.

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MySpaceID Usability Testing

  1. MySpaceID Usability Testing Feb. 9th, 2009
  2. Test Methodology and Goals OAuth Standalone •  Gauge ease of use for the feature •  Determine overall likely user acceptance of the feature OpenID Standalone •  Determine user familiarity with the concept •  Discover user assumptions about how the feature works •  Gauge its overall ease of useOpenID/OAuth Hybrid OpenID/OAuth Hybrid •  Determine perceived user value of the feature •  Gauge ease of use in a range of options •  Discover user assumptions about how the feature works
  3. User Summary •  Users participated in one-on-one sessions •  Equal numbers of male and female users were recruited •  Ages ranged from 14-34 •  All had at least one MySpace account; a few users had several MySpaces •  5 of the 12 respondents had a MySpace URL; 7 did not (or couldn’t remember it) •  There was a strong gender divide between respondents with and without URLs; more female users had URLs, and more male users did not •  Users ranked themselves either a 3 or a 4 in web-savvy; two users said they were a 5 in a particular field, and no users thought of themselves as a 1 or 2 •  All users were comfortable publicly sharing basic profile information online Table A: Summary of Test Participants Has MySpace URL No MySpace URL Age Range 14-34 (5 total) 18-34 (7 total) Sex 4 Female/1 Male 2 Female / 5 Male Web-savvy Medium to High Medium to High
  4. FINDINGS: OAuth Stand-Alone
  5. Interface Details: OAuth Confirmation Screen Users who noticed the redirect tended to believe they would see an AOL module on MySpace The graphic logos at the top of the page were understood to mean that AOL and MySpace were sharing information; there was some confusion over where the information would appear (On AOL? On MySpace?) Challenges & Recommendations •  Users thought this was a simple screen; the visual layout makes it feel approachable •  We did not test a logged out version of the screen; the logged out version should be tested in a Pop-up state to determine whether the screen context helps users understand the flow more clearly •  The graphical double arrow at the top of the screen does not accurately depict the exchange of information that will occur, because the user’s AOL information is not being shared with MySpace; this should be clarified This seemed like an easy Most users ignored this •  If the OAuth service checkbox is important for the way to validate their checkbox; those who checked it MySpace account; probably users to select, add some education to the screen assumed it would keep them because it’s visual, it was (for example, a “What’s this?” link that opens a logged into the module (cookie) considered “basic” by most contextual help overlay describing the purpose of respondents the checkbox) quot;Terms and conditions – I never read thosequot; (Laughs) - Byran, 24
  6. What We Noticed •  Users were comfortable with the OAuth login page we showed them, which showed an authenticated user and no log in fields •  Most seemed comfortable with the idea that MySpace might already know who they are when they click on the “Log In Now” call to action; no one worried out loud about security in this flow; MySpace in a separate module feels safe and fun (this is different from the idea that MySpace forms the basis for a 3rd party account, which as a concept raises more security concerns for users) •  Some users expected log in fields to appear inline (in the AOL module) when they clicked to sign in, but no one said the separate MySpace redirect would stop them from logging in •  The graphical double arrow made users believe they were linking their MySpace account to their AOL account, but there was some confusion about directionality; most understood they’d be seeing MySpace on their AOL page, and believed they would be signed into MySpace but viewing it on AOL (though some got it backwards because they noticed they’d been redirected to the MySpace site)
  7. FINDINGS: OpenID Stand-Alone
  8. OpenID Testing Overview Summary OpenID is completely new to users, and the notion of using a URL to sign in to a website baffles them – but they love the idea of having an ID that allows them to remember just one set of login credentials across the web. •  Users see the MySpace account as separate from the 3rd party account •  More frequent MySpace users were enthusiastic about using their MySpace accounts as a “parent” account across the web, and expected their MySpace information to automatically update the 3rd party account •  Security concerns were paramount and represented the largest barrier to use, even for users who liked the concept “I guess that once you register it gives you that – it’s just a quicker way to sign in.” - Melany, 27, guessing at the meaning of OpenID “Isn’t a URL just a website?” - Melissa, 34, talking through her confusion about the security of OpenID Key Challenges •  None of the respondents had heard of OpenID, and no one guessed correctly that it was a URL •  Security concerns were high, particularly once users learned that the OpenID is simply their public MySpace URL
  9. Yelp OpenID Login Page Getting to the Sign In screen from the Yelp home page was easy for every respondent. Once on this page, all users gravitated to the standard Log In fields and only looked at OpenID with prompting. Challenges & Recommendations •  OpenID was a mystery to everyone. When pressed, most respondents guessed that it was a special code Yelp would give them when they first registered with the site. A similar pattern emerged with Netflix. •  When told the OpenID was a URL, most users recognized the phrase, but only 2 of 12 entered a correct URL structure. Most entered just a unique ID (e.g. “iamthetom”), and others entered a URL/email address hybrid (e.g. “”) •  Users need help! Start by helping them with the URL format. •  Some education about OpenID and how it works is needed here.
  10. MySpace OpenID Pop-up Experience This graphic helped users understand that they were linking Yelp and MySpace somehow; however, the bidirectional arrow doesn’t accurately show the relationship between the two systems. The directionality depicted in the graphic should be more literal, as that will help users understand how OpenID sign in works. Also, a few users saw the graphics as advertising at first glance. The visual design should not resemble MySpace promotional or advertising graphics. Most users felt more comfortable with the pop-up version of this screen vs. the Redirect version (even when they didn’t notice the difference between a pop-up and a redirect). Challenges & Recommendations •  When users got to this screen, they basically understood that they were confirming their MySpace identity in order to use Yelp. •  Seeing the MySpace login fields, especially the Password field, greatly increased their comfort level with OpenID. •  Most users said they would ordinarily just fly through the screen, maybe These checkboxes seemed redundant selecting the first checkbox, and not dwell on the details. The visual layout of to users, and were thus confusing. The “service” in question is invisible the screen helps create a sense of familiarity and ease, which should be on the screen (no branding), so users maintained in future iterations. However, even though users didn’t see the inevitably made assumptions about screen as a barrier, clarifying the graphics and providing optional educational the box that were incorrect – or they simply ignored it. links (about OpenID and/or OAuth) can add useful context to the screen
  11. MySpace OpenID Redirect Experience Users focused on the center of the page and rarely noticed that they had been redirected to MySpace; however, when they did notice the redirect, they were slightly more confused and uncomfortable with the flow. However, it was not a barrier, and most said they would continue anyway. No one reads the small print. Some respondents offered comments about it – “I never read that stuff” – so if it’s there is something very important here, place it somewhere in the body of the page (perhaps offering an anchor link down the screen for additional details). Challenges & Recommendations •  Logging in with an email and password feels like a normalized activity to users, whereas logging in with a URL is completely new, and introduces another step in the process. Users must be clear on why that extra step will be worth the effort. •  Even though the difference was fairly small, users were slightly less comfortable with the redirect screen than with the pop-up version. Recommend using the pop-up version rather than this redirect.
  12. MySpace OpenID Pop-up Experience: Logged In The Pop-up version was better liked than the redirect. It felt more accurate (I want to sign into Yelp, so keep me on the Yelp site). Respondents didn’t realize they were in a MySpace logged in state, and felt very nervous about the potential for fraud with this scenario. Make it more explicit here that the user is already logged in; asking users to enter a password might be a welcome measure of added security that will increase users’ comfort with loggin in using OpenID.
  13. Some User Statements “I do have a Yelp account – would I have to eliminate the Yelp that I have and login anew with the OpenID? I can see switching over being a bit bumpy trying to get all my info straight, but then knowing I have one set of info that’s being applied to everything would ultimately probably make it a little easier for me. And it would also solve my problem of having one password for everything.” - Royce, 23 (getting to concerns about whether MySpace data would over-write his existing account data if he signed in using the MySpace OpenID) “That’s crazy you guys are linking everything together – I think it’s cool”.” - Alyson, 22 “I might use the OpenID, because there are so many things you want to sign up for and…it is such a pain to have to register for everything…if you could just enter the basic information and it be secure, I would probably do it… security is just the biggest factor for me.” - Melany, 27 (frequent MySpace user, expressing a concern we heard from several likely users)
  14. FINDINGS: OAuth/OpenID Hybrid
  15. Hybrid Testing Overview Summary For this flow we used an eCommerce site (Netflix), which by the very fact of being transactional, raised additional security concerns that we hadn’t seen on the OpenID Stand-Alone flow. This flow raised more questions for users about the nature and security of their MySpace data. •  Security concerns around the OpenID URL need to be addressed. (See OpenID Stand-Alone for additional details and recommendations.) •  Context matters here – users couldn’t imagine how their MySpace account information would be relevant on a 3rd party account until they saw an example of how it might work. Education has to occur prior to log in, or users simply won’t use the functionality. •  Additionally, education needs to continue throughout the login process, so that users can visualize how this new form of site registration will work once they complete it. •  Existing functionality forms user expectations about how new functionality will work. In this case, they imagine the Hybrid to be a more rich version of an email address import – that instead of email addresses, it will import their MySpace friends (and profile information). Without a Friends feature, this will have a smaller receptive audience. “Once you see it and once you get in it, it seems very innovative and very helpful. ” - Melissa, 34, explaining how we can improve this process
  16. MySpace Hybrid Redirect Experience: No Scoping Only the Redirect page was tested, but based on the results of the OpenID test, MySpace should consider moving this process to a Pop-up overlay. Most users were comfortable with this identification step, but one user was confused by the “OR” option and read the choices as buttons she was meant to select from. The graphic should accurately depict the directionality of the data flow. Some users skipped the password field because it looked like it was prefilled (perhaps from browser memory). Recommend placing field labels outside the fields rather than inside them to avoid errors. This checkbox seemed redundant to some users based on the context of their activity – after all, wasn’t the point of this flow to create a Netflix account? This may be more appropriate as part of a log in flow rather than an account creation flow. The CAPTCHA was not a problem for any users. All respondents were accustomed to them and seemed to understand their utility. Challenges & Recommendations •  At this point in the process, users still don’t know what they are trying to achieve by signing up for Netflix with their MySpace account. Providing them with context and clarity throughout this process will increase user comfort levels, and thus should increase adoption of this new functionality.
  17. MySpace OpenID Redirect Experience: Granular Scoping This version was the crowd favorite. All users liked this version the best, because they felt like it gave them more control over their new 3rd party profile. Seeing the list of options prompted respondents who were interested in Netflix to wonder aloud if their MySpace Movies options could prefill some Netflix data for them. For some, this list set up expectations of a richly engaged Netflix experience in the next step. Challenges & Recommendations •  While this screen was the crowd favorite, most users admitted they would probably share everything in real life if they didn’t have any choice in the matter •  More checkboxes start to set up expectations for the MySpace/3rd party link that the 3rd party may not be able to fulfill •  The more users looked at the checkboxes, the more they deemed most of the information represented here acceptable to share •  The granular options are superfluous; this is more information than users need to complete their registration flow.
  18. MySpace Hybrid Summary •  This is the most useful application of the OpenID functionality that we tested. •  Users see its utility once they experiment with it, but will not use it unless they are first convinced they understand and can trust it. •  Again, context matters. If users can see how their MySpace account data would be relevant to the new 3rd party account, they are more likely to link the two; otherwise they would skip the OpenID and just register separately. •  Most users expect that their MySpace account will act as a “parent” account for all 3rd parties that use the OpenID; for users, this means they have the expectation that updating basic information on MySpace will also update their linked 3rd party accounts. •  Porting over their MySpace friends (real friends, not Bands/Comedians/Filmmakers) is the killer app for this functionality – prefilling account information is useful, but bringing their network with them is the most useful piece for them (and a piece we were not able to test in this round). “[It’s] like a universal profile.” - Royce, 23 “Putting it all together just makes it all easier... You can just click on a link and it’s all there.” - Jason, 25 “I’d probably use the Netflix one. I’d…create a whole new MySpace…and make it like really clean…and start over.” - Kevin, 18
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