We’ve all seen it – a random, jumbled mess of numbers and letters that you have to squint and turn your head in awkward ways to try and read. You then get it wrong three times before finally being able to subscribe to a newsletter that you’ll never read anyway.
Filling in online forms is already tedious, and anyone with any UX experience will tell you that the best conversions come from the easiest to read, quickest to enter and most concise to validate forms. Captcha is a huge barrier in this process
The CAPTCHA method was designed to stop automated scripts from filling and submitting forms, usually to post spam or attempt to access data that shouldn’t be accessed by machines. And therein lies the problem – it’s a solution to a problem that never existed for an end user. It solves a problem for the site administrator, and that should never affect the end user’s experience.
Making a user’s life hard to make an administrator’s life easy is a bad direction to go.
There are other options to Captcha that don’t impact the user experience, such as:
1) Honeypot form fields
2) Are you a human (although this still impedes the user flow)
3) Track human-only behavior – such as clicking on entry fields or TABbing between them – although this can still be faked by a clever bot, it should eliminate the majority of them