[messaging] Let's run a usability study (was Useability of public-key fingerprints)

Trevor Perrin trevp at trevp.net
Sat Mar 8 21:29:13 PST 2014

On Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 5:30 AM, Tom Ritter <tom at ritter.vg> wrote:

> On 6 March 2014 07:49, Christine Corbett Moran <corbett at alum.mit.edu>
> wrote:
> >
> > She's willing to do a pilot study (<10 people, <1 day) and potentially
> > supervise a student to do a more extensive study, and has the intuition
> that
> > already a pilot could be of good use for informing further design and
> > implementation.
> >
> > What we'd need to get started is a list of methods we'd want to test, and
> > some comparisons based on those methods to incorporate in the experiment.

I will be happy to participate (which may turn into leading) in coming
> up with methods and such.

Hi Christine, Tom,

Sounds awesome, hope you pull this off!

I'd be interested to see the comparison error rates for different methods
(hex vs images vs pseudowords vs poems, for example).

For the tests, I could imagine giving users pairs of fingerprints which are
either identical or a close match, and have them choose same/different
after X seconds, where X is tuned to produce a significant error rate.  I'd
also try having one value on a screen, and the other in different formats
that might be used for fingerprint exchange:  e.g. printed on the front of
a business card, displayed on a separate screen, read aloud, written on a
napkin, etc.

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