Skip to content

HTTPS clone URL

Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with
or
.
Download ZIP
Browse files

Typos and readility increasing...

  • Loading branch information...
commit b95b25a50277260a683c84f28e2ac9c706bde42e 1 parent 465f168
Harry Fuecks authored
Showing with 21 additions and 20 deletions.
  1. +21 −20 mobile-killed-the-login.md
View
41 mobile-killed-the-login.md
@@ -1,21 +1,16 @@
-The Big Opening: Logins are Dead!
-=================================
+Logins are Dead, and Mobile Killed Them
+=======================================
-Logging in with a username and password is dead. Mobile killed it.
+Logging in with a username and password is dead; Mobile killed it.
-Why is dead? Because you and your phone are are one thing. You get [extremely nervous](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomophobia) when you're parted from it. It's a highly personal device and once you get past the lock screen, you and it are intimately connected. This is not a shared device or even a device you leave lying around unattended for long periods. [83% of young people](http://www.onlineschools.org/visual-academy/always-connected/) go to bed with their phone.
+Why is it dead? Because you and your phone are _one thing_; a single organism. You get [extremely nervous](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomophobia) when you're parted from it. It your _precious_; once you get past the lock screen, you are intimately connected to. And [83% of young people](http://www.onlineschools.org/visual-academy/always-connected/) go to bed with their phone. Some older ones too. This is _not_ a shared device or even that thing you leave lying around on your desk unattended.
-And because typing a username and password on mobile is both a _horrible_ and _unsafe_ experience. Horrible because smartphones are not good devices for accurate typing and unsafe because people use their phone in public spaces like a bus where someone may be looking over your shoulder.
+And logins are dead because typing a username and password on mobile is both a _horrible_ and _unsafe_ experience. Horrible because smartphones are not good devices for accurate typing and unsafe because people use their phone in public spaces like a bus where someone may be looking over your shoulder.
Story Time
-==========
+----------
-Now of course there's a whole bunch of edge cases I'll happily ignore, like banking apps, the App Store and pretty much anything with money changing hands. Instead I want to tell you the story of something we built into our mobile apps <a href="http://www.local.ch">local.ch</a> as part of a product which finally got <a href="http://www.telecompaper.com/news/localch-offers-real-time-mobile-business-alerts">announced today</a>.
-
-Starting from the beginning
-===========================
-
-To explain this I need to provide some context so bear with me...
+I want to tell you the story of something we built into our mobile apps <a href="http://www.local.ch">local.ch</a> as part of a product which finally got <a href="http://www.telecompaper.com/news/localch-offers-real-time-mobile-business-alerts">announced today</a>. Doing that will help me make sense of all this, so bear with me...
So <a href="http://www.local.ch">local.ch</a> is a bit like the Swiss Yelp, the official Swiss Yellow and White pages if that business is something you're familiar with. I'm priveliged to be able to lead an [awesome team](https://twitter.com/#!/hfuecks/local-ch-mobile) and we make apps for pretty much [all smartphones](http://info.local.ch/directories/mobile). Apple recently ranked our iOS app as [the 4th most popular free app in Switzerland](http://www.20min.ch/digital/dossier/apple/story/Die-beliebtesten-iPhone-Apps-aller-Zeiten-28833506). Switzerland Apple territory with somewhere between 2 and 3 million iOS devices out there, bearing in mind a total population of about 7.8 million. We're proud to boast we've had over 1.7 million downloads, 1.1 million of those being iOS.
@@ -24,25 +19,25 @@ Now local.ch has the largest field sales force in Switzerland of around 400 peop
Still with me?
We all hate logins
-==================
+------------------
local.ch hates them because they cause adminstration costs. Our customers hate them because they're busy, busy running their businesses and have no time for "What was my password again?". Engineers and product managers hate them because you have to build lots of sucky forms which never quite are as usuable and lead to missed deadlines.
So we got rid of them. And we chose Facebook / Twitter / OAuth right? Nope. It's a shitty position to be in to have a middle man between you and your customers. Period.
Count your blessings
-====================
+--------------------
In it's essence our approach is very simple; we activate the _device_.
We send you a link by SMS or E-Mail containing an activation code. Tapping on the link leads to our app being launched in "activation mode". The app then "phones home" passing the initial code and some unique identifier for the device. We're now able to identify you so can enable your "super powers" in the form of [functionality](http://mba.local.ch/en/2012/07/12/step-by-step-your-first-offer/) that normal users of the app have no access to. So long as you keep your phone and remain a local.ch customer, you keep your "super powers".
-I've skipped a bunch of technical details here but that describes the essence of the process.
+I've skipped a bunch of technical details here but that describes the essence of the process. [These guys](https://twitter.com/#!/hfuecks/local-ch-mobile) did an awesome job of making it watertight.
For the end user it's simply "open message, tap link, done!". That's a pain-free experience.
A Graph of Approval
-===================
+-------------------
One of the inspirations which led to this design was [Bump](https://bu.mp/); the idea that we could pass authorization from person to person much like Bump allows you to pass contact details. Why? Because this is a great match to our typical sales process; pitch product face-to-face, sign contract, activate phone.
@@ -51,7 +46,7 @@ In practice, when we train our sales people, we activate their phones with "sale
Side note: why didn't we use Bump after all? A little too freaky for our sales to work with and project deadlines which made tried and tested tools like E-Mail and SMS very attractive.
What would Steve do?
-====================
+--------------------
The other spark of inspiration from this approach was really learning from Apple.
@@ -60,15 +55,21 @@ Have you ever noticed how they insist on a _personal_ E-Mail when you have an Ap
Mobile enables that idea of being _personal_ to take shape in a intimate way, one that's good enough to grant super powers with.
But, but, but...
-================
+----------------
+
+As strict security systems go, this obviously has a lot of limitations but for what we're dealing with, we felt it didn't matter. Of course there's a whole bunch of cases I'm happily ignoring, like banking apps, the App Store and pretty much anything with money changing hands.
-As strict security systems go, this obviously has a lot of limitations but for what we're dealing with, we felt it didn't matter. Were anyone to, say, steal your phone, we're able to quickly undo anything malicious and de-activate the device. And sure I may end up eating my words but this is about _good enough_ security.
+In our case, were anyone to steal your phone, we're quickly able to undo anything malicious and de-activate the phone stopping them for good. And sure I may end up eating my words but this is about _good enough_ security.
And since the soft launch of our product, back in March 2012, our 400+ customers have generated less than 30 cases for our support helpdesk, so we think it's more than good enough. And our customers love it, allowing them focus on the product we deliver, not the annoying login form that prevents them using it.
-And When I look at [what the big guys are doing](https://plus.google.com/105166600541125352541/posts/GZ2ePMeUjLG) I think this might be a little bit of a break through; a different way of looking at the problem which takes advantage of what mobile brings us.
+Implications
+------------
+When I look at [what the big guys are doing](https://plus.google.com/105166600541125352541/posts/GZ2ePMeUjLG) I think this might be a a break through; a different way of looking at the problem which takes advantage of what mobile brings us.
+And right now I should probably invent a name for it (oh AJAX, I'm still bitter) but perhaps it's not such a big thing after all - excuse me - I'm British.
+And without getting _too_ far out there, I think there is some room here to shake up this awful concept we've been calling the "identity layer" of the Internet.
Please sign in to comment.
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.