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The CAPTCHA Caper

Hey why is there a demon in my captcha?!

Have you ever hit the audio button on a captcha form? You should try, if for no other reason than to say you have experienced the demonically possessed voice trapped in there.

Give it a try here.

Recently, C2 ran into what I’m calling “The great captcha caper of 2013.” Where do you draw the line between security and user experience? Google’s reCAPTCHA seems to be the industry leader in security. When implementing on a site that involves heavy amounts of donation traffic it seems like the best fit also. The problem is when the client starts getting phone calls and tech support complaints that clients cannot read the text and cannot understand the audio. At C2 we lean more towards customer experience. Finding a suitable solution that was secure and easy for a real live human to interact with was important.

With user experience as our number one priority our developer, with client direction, decided to head in more of a familiar direction. The client had a second captcha in place that we had developed a few years prior.

 Captcha Caper

We made the decision to use this captcha, add a refresh option, randomize the background and support multi-lingual support messages. Our initial desire was also to use some branded phrases in the captcha as well as add comprehendible audio. In the end the items with the highest impact and lowest effort won out.

In the midst of writing this blog I happened upon a news article highlighting the use of a captcha that made it impossible for blind people being able to sign a treaty intended to help...wait for it…blind people! C2 wanted our caper to have a happy ending, no demons here.

In this case the best for our client was to provide a solution that was a great user experience and maintained an acceptable level of security. Making the digital experience meaningful + enjoyable!