Usability of OpenID

Mike Ellis posted an interesting article up about OpenID, which is quite critical of OpenID and although I do like OpenID, I agree with much of what he’s saying. Maybe I like OpenID because it’s a way of reducing the number of usernames/passwords I need to remember, rather than being a good way of reducing password overload.

I’ve recently been in conversation with the OU Communications group about how they can OpenID-enable some of their sites and my feeling is that it’s going to be difficult explain what OpenID is how to use it. I feel that to be able to use an OpenID at all you need a basic grasp of how it functions, which may be why it appeals to techies? I’m sure using a url as your identity is going to be an alien concept to people used to using usernames & passwords.

Also there’s plenty of room for confusion when logging into an Open University website using an OpenID… is my OpenID something the Open University gives me?

One Comment

  1. Mike says:

    Hi Alex. Thanks for the link. I guess I can’t de-couple “a good way of doing something” from success: I just feel that OpenID could do with a serious dose of user-focussed reality. Which is not to say it won’t work one day, but I feel that it’s about time real users were taken into account…



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