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20

Since you really seem to care for your users and think through your interface, I have one suggestion: Users should never have to manually type arbitrary codes! Instead, just generate a code from a freely available English wordlist: Your activation code is "Large Sinister" Of course, interpunctuation, capitalization and spacing should not matter. Edit: ...


18

Don't make the message sound like it's coming from a person and make the instructions the last thing the user reads: "#{patient_name}, your consultation with #{doctor_name} is scheduled on #{consultation_date} at #{consultation_time}. Are you still able to make this appointment? YES/NO" This is better because the last thing a person reads in the ...


16

Yes there are examples of how to solve your issue. pwgen has a list of ambiguous characters: "B8G6I1l0OQDS5Z2" (it's in this file if you can read C code). Another code-snippet is here, in php this time. The former approach is using a "blacklist" approach, the latter instead a "whitelist" one.


15

Never send a human to do a machine's job Ref: The Matrix (1999) Instead of trying to get users to answer a specific pattern, change the message to a reminder, where users who can't make it gets a one click phone call link in the message. No confusion, no wrong interpretation and if users make the call by mistake, it'll be solved within a minute. ...


9

In general, assigned passwords should avoid ambiguous characters. An example is Microsoft activation codes; they do not use the letter O because some people might type a zero (0). Similarly, you should trim your allowed characters to remove any ambiguous or confusing ones from the set of possibilities. For example, this is the character set I use in ...


8

Microsoft has has to deal with user-legible activation codes for a long time. I suspect they have put some science into their decisions. I had a pile of activation codes from work to analyze. Here's a faked example code: V3MKH-7GMWJ-PHRWW-Q9RD3-M84FR Firstly, all letters are UPPERCASE. This move alone should eliminate quite a bit of confusion. (I ...


7

First off, those who want to cheat will find a way to do so even if they have to vote in person. All you can do is make it as hard as possible because even with SMS verification people can have multiple mobile numbers, multiple Google Voice numbers, and nearly every GMail account can send & receive SMS with a unique phone number, too. So the biggest ...


7

Simple answer: You can't. Any time we allow open ended responses, there is the risk of getting strings you don't recognize - it's inevitable. Instead of trying to solve it, you should come up with a good solution to mitigate problems that arise from them not entering the correct text. A follow up message asking them to please respond with the correct ...


6

Base 32 encoding is a standard defined with this purpose. There are several variants, but all of them try to avoid ambiguous characters. This is the rationale from the article linked: Base32 is a notation for encoding arbitrary byte data using a restricted set of symbols which can be conveniently used by humans and processed by old computer systems ...


6

I would try something like the image below. It allows you to keep a similar layout, while making it very clear that there is a step required to enable text notifications.


4

Perhaps you can switch the message to a one answer system. Message might read "Reminder: appt w/ Dr. Abc this Thursday at 2pm. Reply if you CAN'T make it." When we switched to that format for dentist reminders, we saw reply volume drop about 30% (because we didn't have to handle vacuous yes), false responses drop 8% (to 1 in 9 being vacuous), no-show ...


3

This may or may not be considered "keeping the same layout" but what came to mind immediately was this: add checkboxes for SMS notifications next to each relevant entry. The space is already there. What you have here makes it seem as if once you enable SMS notifications, you will get those notifications for all of the listed reasons. If that's not how the ...


2

One more vote (if I'd have reputation) for making the string itself easier to remember, like WCode or Ben's answer with "Large Sinister". On the international and technical side of things, the character set used should be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM_03.38


2

What you seek is an efficient Human-Computer code. What I recommend is to encode the entire data with literal(meaningful) words, nouns in particular. I have been developing a software to do just that - and most efficiently. I call it WCode. Technically its just Base-1024 Encoding - wherein you use words instead of symbols. Here are the links: Presentation: ...


2

I don't think you can fix the way people respond - you are giving a clear direction in limited characters, which is either misunderstood or ignored. You'll have that. So instead, I suggest you handle "yes," "no" and "other." It sounds like you prefer to stick with yes/no answers, which I understand completely. I wouldn't advertise this new "other" ...


2

I think you're simply not being explicit enough about the fact that this is an automated system and that you only want specific words in the response. Please confirm: #{patient_name} is scheduled to see Dr #{doctor_name} on #{consultation_date} at #{consultation_time}. Reply for free with the word 'YES' to confirm or 'NO' to cancel. That is only five ...


2

If you are displaying text messages on a website, then they should look somewhat similar to the way the look on the phone (by that I mean, bubbles(boxes) on the left, same thing on the right, so that the user can feel familiar with the interface right away. Most messaging or email services group messages by conversation, you click on a conversation, then see ...


1

From a UX point of view, I agree with the other answers given: you cannot rely on customers giving you one of the preplanned responses. You can make it more explicit that they are interacting with a computer, and you can send follow-up messages (possibly at greater expense to the customer, if they are paying for the SMS messages), but some percentage will ...


1

Send SMS with any simple text ("reg") to the service number. Fill the registration form (while service generates and sends answer). Enter the number from SMS answer. Submit. Using cell phone or cell to cell money transfer image on the banner could visually explain technology behind your system and necessity of sharing cell number which is a bit private ...


1

I think you shouldn't teach how to send sms 'in general'. It's enough to mention something like 'Refer to user manual of your cell phone on how to send SMS'. The main reason is that if you provide some service - teaching SMS sending - and you don't succeed, your customer has reason to be dissatisfied you. Especcially when your instructions are misleading in ...


1

If an account has enough inherent value a user will be more likely to put in the effort to verify it. Value isn't necessarily monetary (think stack exchange reputation). If necessary try a two tiered approach to avoid scaring away new users. Basic unauthenticated - limited number of votes, lifetime or lower value of each vote Go premium authenticated by ...


1

I believe that SMS verification isn't much of a good idea since not many people have mobile phone with SMS capabilities. Also, many people are afraid that they might get spam (even if it stated that they won't get spam!) It would be best to ask for a address (building number, street name, and ZIP code) that is used for verification purposes only because ...


1

It depends on the prize being offered. For something minor going for SMS verification might well be over the top. For a major prize then it could well be appropriate, and I can't see people objecting if you are offering something to the value of a thousand dollars or more. Perhaps you should only use the number for a one shot verification and then discard ...



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