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26

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: ...


22

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.


19

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 message ...


18

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. #{...


17

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 ...


10

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 ...


10

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

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

A lot of people use their phone to sign up for services. Having to go to your messages to copy the code and then drop it into the interface can be slower than just going into your email client and clicking on the provided link. I don't think it's fair to assume SMS is quicker, as some people also don't carry a smartphone on themselves at all times (...


6

Both are equally good in terms of security. According to me the first senerio is good enough and adapted one. We are used to first senerio. The second senerio doesn't making much changes and unnecessarily user will confused with the new approch to do things. In terms of UX, the first senerio is much easy and user know this gonna happen. Most of the ...


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.


5

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 ...


4

It's best to offer both email and SMS sign-up -- some users prefer the control that an email address provides, such as in cases of householding (when a couple or family signs up for an account, and wants a shared space for communications and transactional information.) SMS is very convenient and preferred by the mobile-first generation.


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

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" option....


2

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 ...


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 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're making a mobile only application. Then you can do away with passwords and keep the phone number as the only way to authenticate the user. Facebook acquired whatsapp does this and has always been using this method. Only one session of the user stays at any given time. If the user changes mobile phones but has the same phone number, then on re-...


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 ...


2

I have to be honest and say I have never liked the idea of verifying mobile phones as a security measure. More places are starting to use this as their sole verification method, which causes major problems for people without mobile phones as there is no way for them to create accounts with some of these providers. I do, however, think it is a perfectly valid ...


2

You should never rely on SMS. Delivery is not guaranteed, and you have no way to determine whether or not it took place. Additionally, SMS is not encrypted, and from a security standpoint, it is not advisable to deliver any kind of private information over SMS or rely on receiving unmodified responses via SMS messages. These factors should precede UX ...


2

In many countries this is not really an UX but legal topic - sometimes it is just illegal to send another confirmation message. So check this first. If it is ok to send a message, then do it, but avoid charging the user for the message (this is commonly possible) and tell him about it. e.g. : You no longer recieve messages from 123.com. Note: This message ...


2

Some assumptions: a) The target country is India. b) User can choose last four digits. c) The possibility of the first 4 digits to be the same is very high, if the sim card/number is purchased during a certain time period/location. The first four digits identify the network operator and the telecom circle. Now strictly going by the 4 options in the ...


2

For some reason, your user is seeing multiple mobile numbers and you want to obfuscate them. To me best strategy is to compare the options you are going to show to user and obfuscate accordingly. See this example in Python: http://tpcg.io/WlwN71 def obfuscateNumbers(num1, num2, showDigits): num1_obfus = ''; if(num1[len(num1)-showDigits:len(num1)] !=...


1

I would share my experience with lots of banking, wallet, Social apps which are actually asking for verification via an SMS. Even Apple is sending a verification SMS to its servers before activating iMessage and FaceTime only after you would be able to use 'Handoff' functionality on your phone and Mac. Even I have observed SMS penetration even when calls ...


1

As you have mentioned giving feedback is important and the only way to give feedback when it comes to SMS service is by sending SMS message. Unsubscribing from email newsletter is much easier when it comes to giving feedback - user can get redirected to a simple "you are unsubscribed from our newsletter" page and that's it. The additional fee for getting an ...


1

Two-way verifications are much more secure due to using different communication channels. The first path will be better in terms of user experience and security. You need to reduce the barrier Two-way verification cycles can be embedded to sign-up process. SMS for an individual can cost money. If you make your user to pay for your SMS; they can feel that ...


1

I'm surprised that nobody has pointed out that this is wide open to a spoofing attack. Sending an SMS with a spoofed originator (the sender) is incredibly easy and costs very little to do. You can't trust that the message has come from the genuine owner of the number (or even that the number exists at all). The traditional model (where you send the user a ...


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