1Password is a password management software that helps you generate strong and unique password and helps the user in remembering them. The problem was that people were using 1Password to store their passwords but they were not using the password generator function to strengthen their existing passwords or while generating new ones.
We discussed the problem space among the team and then we went out and conducted some user research to understand how people feel about a password management software. We found the issues to lie along trust and control. We developed a strategy for approaching a problem and sketched ideas to mitigate it. We tested our designs with the users, sought feedback from other designers and iterated on it.
We came up with two ways of tackling the issue of trust and getting the users to strengthen their password with the password generator function.
Making the password generator function obvious: In the current design, the password generator function is hidden behind menu's and is not an essential part of the interface. By making the password generator function easily accessible to the user, the user is more likely to use the password generator function to generate their passwords.
Comparing password strength: By comparing the strengths of user's password with the 1Password generated password, we encourage the user to select a more secure password.
Sign up details
Ann is about to sign up to a new email client.
She completes the initial entry fields. And as soon as she enters the password entry field, 1Password suggests a strong password for her to signup with.
Ann neglects this and continues to enters her old password here. 1Password now compares the strength of her password with its own password.
Select Stronger Password
Ann now realizing the weakness of her own password, selects the 1Password suggested password.
Complete Sign Up
She completes the signup procedure and the login details are saved by 1Password.
As you can see here, Ann doesn't have to go anywhere to generate a password. A secure password is presented and readily accessible to her at the time of generating a new password.
We also believe that trust is not something that can be built in a day or two. It takes time to achieve the level of trust required by the user to change passwords on all of his/her accounts. It grows as the person becomes comfortable with the software and when the software has performed up to his/ her expectation. But, we believe we have established a great foundation upon which it can be built.
Details of the Design Process
I actively participated in all aspects of the project. I contributed my thoughts in the discussion. Conducted usability tests with the team.
I carefully analyzed the working of the software and came up with ideas during the initial ideation phase.
Paper Prototypes and Wireframes
I also sketched out the first prototype to test it with the users and also built the final high fidelity wireframes in Sketch.
Exploring the problem space
We started discussing about the problem space by asking ourselves, within the team, as to why use a password management software and why some of us had never considered using one. We identified the issues to lie along the three main areas.
Master password is complicated.
What if master password is compromised?
What if there is a software breakdown?
How does it perform across different platforms?
It is not in control of the user.
Why should I trust this company?
Does everyone need this?
Why would they need it?
User research And persona
We then conducted an interview survey with users to understand their perception about a password management software. The users did not feel safe enough to store their passwords in the software, let alone generating new ones for them. They did not trust the software program and felt that they would not in control of them.
Based on the initial problem brainstorming session we had done and findings from user research, we asked ourselves the following questions
How do we create the need for the users to use a more secure password?
How do we instill trust in the user?
Analyzing the current workflow
We analyzed the current workflow for generating a new password and changing it for an account. It involved four different steps.
1. Click on the 1Password browser plugin.
2. Go to the Password generator menu.
3. Generate a new password using the password generator function.
4. Fill the new password in the create password field.
We have reduced the process of generating a new password from four to a single click.
We also found out that weak passwords can be created using the password generator function which seemed completely futile.
We sketched ideas to find solutions to the problems or issues that we had discovered earlier.
Paper Prototypes and Testing
Based on the ideas we had from the previous sketching session, we sketched the first paper prototype and tested it with the users.
We incorporated feedback from the first usability test to develop the second prototype below and then tested it again.
Our next step was to come up with a better way of comparing the two passwords instead of saying "Crack in 1 week vs Crack in 10000 years" because the feedback we got from other designers was that it was not the correct terminology to use when we are dealing with passwords.
what I learned
I learned the importance of testing and iteration. This was a project that got better through iterations based on the feedback we got from users as well as from other designers.
I learned the importance of paper prototyping. We quickly sketched paper prototypes, tested them with our users and sketched new ones as we iterated on them. It was easy and communicated the concepts well enough to receive feedback from the users.
Through this project I gained the confidence to tackle complex problems. With passwords, we were dealing with issues of trust and control. We were able to analyze the problem and come up with simple solutions to address the problem.
And last but not the least, I learned the importance of scheduling a time line for your project. We scheduled ours and stuck with the timeline and it gave us enough time in the end to iterate and put everything together.