Jared Spool: Unintuitive and Insecure: Fixing the Failures of the Authentication UX

  • IEEE Computer Society, GBC/ACM and BostonCHI host
  • Jared M. Spool, UIE
  • Unintuitive and Insecure: Fixing the Failures of the Authentication User Experience
  • January 17, 2017 at 6:30pm
  • VistaPrint, 275 Wyman St, Waltham, MA 02451


  • “Which username did I use?”
  • “Do they want my email address or my nickname?”
  • “Which password did I use?”
  • “What was my favorite vegetable when I created this account?”

Nothing wrecks a great user experience like a login form. Our password rules make it hard to remember what we’ve used, and stupid security questions lock us out of our accounts. And none of these security gymnastics actually prevent our personal information from leaking into the world. (In fact, we often inadvertently make it easier.)

If it’s not usable, it’s not secure. Unusable authentication systems are a bellwether of poor end-to-end experience. Once you’ve frustrated a user with their account creation or session authentication, it’s extremely hard to win them back.

Security isn’t sexy, but when we get it right, we reduce risk and increase user satisfaction. In this entertaining presentation, Jared will explain how to make authentication design a top priority in your experience architecture. He’ll show you where the real risks are and why you shouldn’t trust others to handle your design’s security elegantly.

Jared will walk you through:

How to best protect your users without making them frustrated.
How Amazon reduces fraud and makes money with a multi-state security model.
How to keep the Paranoids at bay without degrading the user experience.


Jared M. Spool is a co-founder of Center Centre and the founder of UIE.

In 2016, with Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman, he opened Center Centre, a new school in Chattanooga, TN to create the next generation of industry-ready UX Designers. They created a revolutionary approach to vocational training, infusing Jared’s decades of UX experience with Leslie’s mastery of experience-based learning methodologies.

You’ll also find him as the conference chair and keynote speaker at the annual UI Conference and UX Immersion Conference, and he manages to squeeze in a fair amount of writing time. He is author of the book, Web Usability: A Designer’s Guide and co-author of Web Anatomy: Interaction Design Frameworks that Work.

You’ll find his writing at uie.com. You can also follow his adventures on the Twitters at @jmspool, where he tweets daily about UX design, design strategy, design education, and the wondrous customer service habits of the airline industry.

Evening Schedule

6:30 – 7:00   Networking over pizza and beverages
7:00 – 8:30   Meeting
8:30 – 9:00   CHI Dessert and more networking!
9:00 – 10:00  Dinner with Jared at Green Papaya

Monthly Sponsors

Thank you to our generous sponsors. If you’re interested in sponsoring BostonCHI, let us know.

Vistaprint is hosting us, and providing pizza.

Vitamin T is sponsoring CHI Dessert.

This event brought to you by IEEE, GBC/ACM, and BostonCHI



Getting there

VistaPrint and its parent Cimpress are located at the new headquarters on 275 Wyman St, Waltham, MA 02451. If you’re driving north on Wyman St, turn right at the pillar bearing the address, and turn left to enter the parking garage (see picture below.) If you’re driving south on Wyman St., you’ll see a pillar on the left, but drive to the second one and turn left to enter the parking garage. You’ll also see it as pictured below.