Ticketmaster has announced that they are to scrap the much loathed Captcha verification system which requires customers to decipher a jumble of hard-to-read letters in order to prove they are human. The system is designed to prevent bots from trawling for tickets but has become one of the biggest irritants for fans. As these robots have become more sophisticated, Captcha has had to become more advanced in order to stay effective. But in the process, it has become more difficult for humans to understand.
As Aaron told BBC News:
“It is generally speaking, one of the most hated pieces of user interaction on the web. The major problem with them is that it’s not unusual for several attempts to be needed. So when people see them again on different websites they have negative expectations.”
The new process will involve customers typing in actual phrases such as “freezing temperatures”, rather than, for example, “tormentis harlory” or answering multiple choice questions. As Aaron commented ” It’s not going to be immediately extinguished. It’s evolving into something easier.” He also added that “It still takes time, requires thought and is too complex and ambiguous. We can do our fellow humans a favour here. While the turing test MUST get more sophisticated to combat ever cleverer robots, the robot Vs. human verification arms race needn’t result in mutual destruction…
Great design hides sophistication away from the user interface. We’ve seen wonderful and very usable alternatives from picking out a cat from amongst dogs, a red car amongst blue cars, a simple slider that you move with your mouse or keyboard. Great design is about making experiences simple and magical even if there is a mind-numbing level of complexity hidden away in the background.”