A little background on the question: I've recently come across an instance where a user is submitting a form to check their status on something. I've used lock icons on buttons for shopping purchase screens (check-out), but in this case the user isn't actually purchasing something.

Curious what everyone's thoughts are on the right time to use a lock icon to show something is secure? Especially when that something is form with personal information vs. a transaction like checking out with an online purchase.

Here's a more visual sample: Form field with secure icon in button

  • Does the lock icon necessarily indicate that it is secure? What does "secure" mean in this context? Maybe a screenshot would help here. – Steve Jones May 15 '18 at 19:37
  • Good question. I've included a stripped-down (de-branded) version of what I'm talking about. – Joshua Reach May 15 '18 at 20:16
  • 1
    To me, that wouldn't suggest security, but I'm probably an edge-case. Do you have enough users to do A/B testing? Also, don't like the implied consent with the Terms of Use, but that's another story... – Steve Jones May 16 '18 at 7:00

I’d argue (particularly in the current climate) the right time to use a lock icon:

  • when the user is providing or entering personal information or attachments.

  • when the platform/product is taking something from the user (money, photos, uploads etc) in things like checkouts, password resets etc.

  • when a user’s information is being used for something (purchasing, deliveries, newsletters, messages, sms etc).

I’m sure there are more cases but those are I think pretty essential.

| improve this answer | |
  • That's kind of what I'm thinking as well. This case I came across is purely a form with basic information. I wonder if it even adds value if you're only sending a form without any attachments. Or does a user expect a site to already be secure when providing this type of info. – Joshua Reach May 15 '18 at 20:21
  • 2
    If its information that the user is giving about themselves then regardless of attachments then it wouldnt hurt to reinforce the feel of security. A user would expect it regardless so its not something that is needed, but it may make a user feel more relaxed about giving you personal information. – UIO May 15 '18 at 20:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.