I'm having a problem regarding a user interface with bio-metrics inter action in employee logging in/out. The employee needs to choose whether he/she will login or logout and enter his/her employee number (Don't ask why) and use a fingerprint scanner. What order of action would be better so that it wouldn't confuse the users?


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I have three(3) options above. If you have better suggestions please include it in your answer. Each process is required and cannot be removed.

Edit: The fingerprint scanning should be always after entering the employee no because we validate the fingerprint in the employee no (Don't ask).

Edit: We cannot change the process (enter employee no, choose login/logout, fingerprint scanning) because the web service that has given to use can only do those things, and we can't request for the creation of web methods for this timekeeping project (Please don't ask).

  • 1
    I'd suggest that you want to think about this more in terms of the Logout Sequence. People will make an effort to login. They'll make rather less effort to logout... So its going to depend how important it is to the organisation that they actually do logout.
    – PhillipW
    Apr 27, 2012 at 10:04
  • I'm confused as to what the last sentence means
    – Ben Brocka
    Apr 27, 2012 at 13:55
  • 3
    Why do you have the added authentication for logging out? If your system exposes additional sensitive information on logging out, you may have more of a problem than this workflow. That seems like an anti-security workflow to me, which I doubt is what you want. People often forget to logout as it is, which, in some cases can harm security by leaving your app in a logged-in state for whoever happens to come along next. Why make it harder and hurt security instead of using a traditional one-step logout method? Apr 27, 2012 at 17:18

4 Answers 4


This is a question that would most probably benefit most from user testing. Maybe you would find that the inner order makes no noticeable difference, or it could turn out that it makes a big difference. Do you have any reference to any of their earlier systems? Or similar systems? And how they were conceived by the users that also will be using the product you're developing? Data like this is something that you can often only find at the source for whom you're developing.

I'm not very familiar with authentication systems that use bio-metrics. However, if you can make a parallel to authentication using RFID-tags I would say that the order is:

Present tag (Fingerprint) -> Enter code -> Select action (Login/Logout)

This order however was not an alternative among those you listed. Maybe you've discarded it for reasons I don't know of. But if not, and you just haven't thought about it, then this would be an order to consider.

  • I edited my question to add the reason. Apr 27, 2012 at 6:36
  • @JohnIsaiahCarmona ohh, ok I see. I don't know what framework you're working in, but it would seem like a pretty easy task to cache the entered fingerprint and validate it once the user enters the code? Apr 27, 2012 at 6:41
  • I don't think that's possible. Apr 27, 2012 at 6:57
  • ok, fair enough. Apr 27, 2012 at 7:04

Based on the information you provided it seems like "login" should be first, and you shouldn't have the option to "logout" until you are already logged in. Why would someone logout if they aren't logged in?

My suggestion would be a slight variation of #2 Login >> Employee # >> Fingerprint Scan to verify.

Then the logout option would be available after you are already logged in. Maybe I'm missing something on why the login and logout options should be presented at the same time?


The information about the state should be handle internally

such how a session

My suggestion would be

Screen log in/out -> Enter code -> Log in successfull
Screen log in/out -> Enter code -> Log out successfull

It depends on the system on which it is being implemented, It can be either ways, as the number of interactions are not reducing

Login Id (employee code) --> Finger print identification --> Login / Logout

Finger print Identification --> Login Id (employee code) --> Login / Logout

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