Are one time passwords the best way to authenticate a user when he/she logs-in the first time in a mobile application? Or are there better ways to authenticate a user in terms of user experience?

  • 2
    what kind of app it is? Please share more info about what you want to give to the user. Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 8:54
  • The usual pattern is to register users and then have them log in on repeat visits. Are you planning something different? And you need some incentive for them to register. There needs to be something about your app that will make them want to give you their registration info. Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 9:15
  • It's an app which helps you in creating content.
    – Vin
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 9:31
  • some screen mockups would help Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 10:37
  • We haven't completed the screens yet and were thinking whether th euser would be comfortable with sharing their phone numbers.
    – Vin
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 10:51

3 Answers 3


When it comes to onboarding, I would look at a progressive way of registering users.

For example, when you first enter the app, let the user try it out before asking any questions. Let them get familiar with it and what it does.

When the user has done one or two things, then ask if they would like to register. One time password? Sure, but I think you can gain more by adding a sign in via social channels like Twitter and Facebook.

Also, don't forget to setup a tracking system for everything that happens during the onboarding. When you later look at the data and conversion rate, you would hopefully be able to spot where you have done good and where you can improve. Maybe do an A/B or have the option to choose OTP or social when logging in?

I think this question depends on what you are building and different solutions work for different products. But it is onboarding you want to read more about.

  • I liked the idea of having the user get the "feel" of the app before asking the user to register.I wanted to keep the sign in independent of other social sites.
    – Vin
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 14:38
  • Is there any reason for why you would do that?
    – Blk Dnm
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 14:57
  • Because this app is a social app with some added features. Though not similar to twitter or facebook etc.
    – Vin
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 6:20

If you need users to authenticate in your app you should always remember, that nowadays people have to remember a lot of passwords. So reusing an existing account would be helpful in terms of UX. The technical answer would be for example OpenConnect, by which you can use credentials from Google, Yahoo,... to login into your app. Like it is done here on stackexchange.


I think answer to your question really depends on (1) how concerned your users are about their data (2) and/or your concern about any unfavorable consequences to your business by using OTP.

Even if you choose not to use OTP, there are ways to make it easier for users to login - pin, finger print, etc.

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