No More Bullets!

July 7th, 2009 by Ilya Marritz

Those “bullets” that show up where you type in your password are there to protect you. But web-thinker Jakob Nielsen (“the king of usability”) doesn’t like them.

For one thing, people make more errors where there are bullets, and therefore lose a feeling of trust for the page they’re using. That means less business for websites that use bullets.

Furthermore, bullets make people more likely to pick simple, easy-to-steal passwords, and to cut-and-paste their passwords. That means a loss of security.

Nielsen doesn’t want to do away with bullets altogether – they can be useful if you really think there’s someone looking over your shoulder. But he suggests that web pages make them optional.

Some more thoughts on this from Bruce Schneier.

“the king of usability”

One Response to “No More Bullets!”

  1. Manok says:

    I agree. I usually copy and paste my bank password. After all, 3 mistakes, and you have to apply for a new PIN code and ATM card. Why the bullets? I don’t allow anyone to see my password, but DO allow them to see the information it unlocks?


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