Abuse It or Use It
Ever sit on a park bench with dividers that keep you from sitting close to your loved one? The dividers on that bench are there to prevent impromptu skateboard rides and naptime for the homeless. Problem for abuses solved. But now a problem is created for actual use. The internet is full of similarly intended barriers to help keep the web safe, but sometimes they get to the point where utility is lost. From captchas to scams, robots to forgotten passwords–we are limiting the great promise of all the internet can do by overly shifting focus to abuse prevention from actual utility. This talk will look at several examples of how a product or service became unusable by a team too focused on the prevention of abuse rather than facilitating actual use. We’ll then propose several models for how to maintain focus on utility in a culture where abuse prevention has overwhelmed good design.