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I have a workflow where when opening the workflow, a background user authentication is done to know if user has proper rights to execute the workflow. Now the check is usually very quick (<2 seconds) and if the user does not have the rights, we display an error notification about it and how to get the same.

There are 2 parts where I want some feedback:

  1. Do you think we should show an alert on the UI saying that the system is checking the users right to execute this action since this would be very fast and would go away from the UI fairly quickly. Is that adding any value in sense of users knowing that a background check is happening even if its gone before they even see it?
  2. Also, if the user has authentication rights, should we display that information on the UI or would that be just adding clutter because, it wouldn't change anything for the user in the workflow and the user would continue as usual?

------ Adding more context------

This is not about a login workflow but about role based access control thing in a particular workflow where the system checks a users permission to execute an action before they can proceed with clicking the button to execute it.

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  • Does the user need to do something in the workflow? If so, it would be best to let the user already start their task while checking rights in the background. A spinner somewhere should communicate that a check is pending. Don’t let the user focus on the waiting, don’t stand in their way.
    – Andy
    Sep 19, 2023 at 7:27
  • Technically, can’t the check be done before the user enters the workflow?
    – Andy
    Sep 19, 2023 at 7:28
  • user is able to continue with the workflow with the check running on background.. I'm thinking more about if it's of value to display successful background check for permission since used would continue as normal without any impact and to even display the check running since it would be just for a few seconds and user might also miss it as well. User would only care if they don't have permissions to execute the action and there we tell them how to get one.
    – abhi191
    Sep 19, 2023 at 17:24
  • the second part is technically not feasible somehow so user needs to enter the workout to know if they have the rights to execute
    – abhi191
    Sep 19, 2023 at 17:25

1 Answer 1

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  1. You can use a simple "checking..." or a preloader image. Both indicate that something is happening in response to a user action, and it's a widely recognized pattern. In this scenario, where the action initiated is a login using credentials, it's quite clear that the system is processing those credentials to grant access.

  2. No, and not just due to clutter, but also because of security concerns. It's uncertain who might be looking at the screen when the user is logging in. Furthermore, someone might use saved browser credentials to log in without actually knowing them. Displaying these credentials could mean a huge security risk; it would be like handing over your house keys to a stranger.

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  • thanks for the answer, but to add more context about this, this is not about a login workflow but about role based access control thing in a particular workflow where the system checks a users permission to execute an action before they can proceed with clicking the button to execute it.
    – abhi191
    Sep 18, 2023 at 17:19
  • then the answer is more or less the same, only that instead of "Loading..." it would be a good idea to communicate the system is checking permissions. You can do it just like that, a simple message, or you can use some kind of engaging animation. However, if the time span is that short, i think a text message is more than enough. Furthermore, I'd artificially increase the time so it's not under 2 seconds. That way, user will be able to see the message and understand the system has appropriate security measures, and you'll also prevent FOUC
    – Devin
    Sep 18, 2023 at 17:30

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