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BizReport : : December 03, 2012


Is your website's captcha putting off mobile users?

Captchas have proved to be a popular security feature online, but when consumers are forced to use them on a mobile device they can be fiddly and frustrating to use, and can result in site abandonment.

by Helen Leggatt

Around two-thirds of shoppers will give up and shop elsewhere when presented with frustrating processes and roadblocks to purchases.

One of those frustrations, identified in research by Virtual Hold Technology, was completing captchas. A captcha, or 'Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart', is a challenge used on websites to verify that engagement with a website is being performed by a human and not generated by a computer. They are used to block bots and prevent all types of spam, scrapers and other malicious attacks.

They can be frustrating and fiddly to complete on a desktop computer, so imagine how hard they are to get past on a mobile device. The mobile device's autocorrect kicks in and attempts to correct the weird number/letter combinations which, in turn, leads to rejection and requests to try again, or they can be hard to decipher in the first place.

Mobile marketers need to consider alternatives to the traditional captcha to ensure the consumer experience is hassle-free. In recent years a few viable alternatives have come on the market including NuCapture's mobile version of their video capture, which requires no Flash or JavaScript and fits into the space left by the keyboard to ensure easy and fast completion.

Others formats include gamifying the captcha experience such as PlayThru's solution, image-based puzzles such as visualCaptcha or task-oriented challenges that are impossible for virtual intelligence to carry out, such as sliders (Distcha) or MotionCaptcha.


Tags: bots, captcha, mobile, security, spam, user experience










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  • redtiger1982

    What am I missing? The research link refers only to mobile users experiencing issues with their financial apps. It neither mentions CAPTCHA or shoppers. Is the link wrong or is this press release a fluff piece?

  • Guest

    Yeah, I agree. I clicked through the link and even downloaded the full report and CAPTCHA is not mentioned in it anywhere. It's not listed as one of the causes of frustration with mobile apps.

  • Sarah

    Confident CAPTCHA is another one that works extremely well on mobile. It's a picture-based approach to CAPTCHA, so all a person has to do is tap a couple pictures on the mobile touchscreen to prove they're human.

  • Jennifer cohen

    Solve Media's captchas are another solution that works well in mobile specifically




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