måndag 23 juni 2008

Gästbloggen - Mr R (del 4)

Nu är det dags för det fjärde gästbloggsinlägget, skrivet av
"Mr R".

Första inlägg: Gästbloggen - Mr R (del 1).
Andra inlägg:
Gästbloggen - Mr R (del 2)
Tredje inlägg: Gästbloggen - Mr R (del 3)

Presentation av Mr R

Mr R är Internetentreprenör och jobbat med strategi och affärsutveckling, just nu i full sving med att starta andra företaget. Intresserad av teknologier på webben som får användarna att hamna i centrum, "det är då de roliga sakerna börjar hända". Bloginlägg kommer att handla om detta, med risk för att han någon gång kommer att våga sig på att tycka till om annat.

Mr R har ordet

OpenID - Challenges ahead

While potentially proving to be a much vaunted remedy for the multiple password and user name problem, OpenID today faces a number of challenges it must surmount to become a mainstream technology. The benefits of OpenID, i.e. simplifying your online experience, are augmented by the possibility to choose the OpenID provider that fit your needs the most. Additionally, if moving from one provider to the next, your OpenID moves with you, no need to create a new. And of course, OpenID is completely free and non-proprietary.

OK, so moving on to things to improve, I believe the single most important aspect is usability, that is; is it simple and intuitive to use? Sadly the answer is no, even if things are starting to improve the process of logging in with your OpenID on a supported site is not as easy as it should be. The reason for this can not be traced to a single issue, it is a combination of factors, ranging from UI, confusing and time consuming log in procedures and lack of marketing to end users. When it actually takes more time to log in to a site using OpenID than using normal log in credentials there is work to do. The fact that it works across multiple websites gets lost in the mix when each log in becomes frustrating.

The growing list of OpenID providers also mean that they differ in quality, which can heavily impact your OpenID experience. I will go through a number of issues that can vary between providers, largely common to the OpenID standard in general. They represent challenges that have to be overcome for mass-market acceptance and long term success; Security concerns, specifically phishing, is often raised as a downside to OpenID. However, tools to combat password intercepts are there to use for the security minded provider, for example SSL and high grade certificates. So, make sure your provider is up to par in the security realm.

In general, privacy is a problem since your provider will know every site you visit so a trust based relationship is imperative for the system to work. It will be interesting to see if the number of providers continue to grow or if only a handful of large players remain, for example Verisign, who have high credibility in the eyes of end users and web sites accepting OpenID log in. For example, even if I trust my provider, what if the site I want to log into doesn't? And who checks that I am who I say I am?

Relying on a third party identity provider to log in to various sites adds complexity to the system since it requires that it always must be up and running for you to gain access to your accounts on different websites.

As mentioned in previous posts, in order for OpenID to really take of major sites need to really stand behind it, that is, not only become OpenID providers but also accept identity credentials from other providers on their site, i.e. to become OpenID consumers.

So, all in all, OpenID is today not the optimal solution it can be if properly supported and developed but considering the mess with multiple logins it is in my opinion a worthy cause to pursue. The problems that remain can only be fixed by more users joining in, helping to better the system. OpenID is the only technology that can claim to have reached critical mass or at least critical attention. Will it be victorious? Let's hope so. Over and out.

1 kommentar:

Tore sa...

Så länge det är enklare att programmera ihop ett login och lösenordskoll med php/mysql än att registrera sig, godkännas och installera openID kommer openID aldrig bli någon storsäljare. Att göra det första tar 5 minuter.