CAPTCHAs – Barrier between you and your customers

Web Developers and Web Designing Companies have been collaborating to try and combat spam with various methods for years. One method that is being used nearly unanimously by webmasters is the CAPTCHA which stands for- Completely Automatic Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart.

Some captcha are really hard to decipher, it looks like a child had written something with an ink-starved pen and then left the piece of paper out in the rain, quite artistic. If you try to attempt that code surprisingly it will be thrown back with an “incorrect code entered message”.

Let me tell you one story, I really wanted to register on the site, so I screwed up my face, got my eyes as close to the screen as possible before my focus started to distort, and tapped the letters and numbers into my keyboard.

“Incorrect code entered. Please try again”.

Captcha

A few clicks later, and no CAPTCHA code to be seen, somehow I registered on the alternative site. But the same thing is not going to happen for all the customers, it makes an impression to quit the site and switch to another website, thereby it causes the damage to the usability of the website.

CATCHA damaging your client’s websites

Some users don’t have the patience to try and solve a capture several times, and other users have visual impairments that will simply not allow them to solve the CAPTCHA. These users are usually deterred, and will most likely not return to your site after such an experience. Although some advanced CAPTCHA forms have audio options (which allows the user to play an audio version of the CAPTCHA), many users are not aware of this option, and some users do not have speakers or are hearing impaired.

The widespread use of captcha in low-volume, low resource sites, on the other hand, is unnecessarily damaging to the experience of users with disabilities. An explicitly inaccessible access control mechanism should not be promoted as a solution, especially when other systems exist that are not only more accessible, but may be more effective, as well. It is strongly recommended that smaller sites adopt spam filtering and/or heuristic checks in place of CAPTCHA.

Think about it: you’ve developed a beautifully thought-out website from a particular Website Design Company with clear user-funnels, call to action, with everything gently pushing your visitors towards registering, purchasing, enquiring or otherwise completing a goal and then you stick a dirty great squiggle at the end that you users have to decode before completing the task will end up in the unfair process.

There are plenty of alternatives to CATCHAs, a quick search on the Internet will turn up plenty, but here are a few I’ve picked out: simple MATH questions (what’s the sum of 2 + 3), using pictures.