Have you seen something like this before? You probably have.
It’s called a CAPTCHA and it’s supposed to help stop spamming on websites. What happens though is that they are a bit annoying and in the end you might not need one.
Annoying and broken pretty easily
Josh Fraser blogged some time ago on “Why you should never use a captcha” and I subscribe entirely to what he says:
“CAPTCHAs are annoying, you probably don’t need one and even if you did it could still be broken pretty easily.”
Two nice and simple alternatives:
1. Hidden field using CSS: Josh himself points to this solution:
“add an extra field with a tempting name like “email” to your form that is then hidden using CSS. Humans can’t see the field and as a result will never fill it out. Any request that comes in with the field completed can easily be eliminated as spam. The beauty of this is you have a pretty effective spam-stopper without ruining the user experience or adding any friction to the process. A simple technique like this is probably enough to stop the majority of spam bots.”
2. A slider: Joe Stump tweeted about this one (which Josh also mentions) and it’s a really nice one I must add.
Time to move on from captchas? I think so.
3 thoughts on “CAPTCHA Alternatives”
Thanks for the shout-out and glad to hear you agree!
On the Hacker Medley podcast, CAPTCHAs were discussed some time ago: http://hackermedley.org/humans-only/
You might be wright, but none of the other solutions is so ingenious as reCaptcha – a captcha device and an open books human-powered OCR device at the same time.
Even if reCaptcha has the same anoyingness of other captchas, it fullfills a major task besides fighting spam. Which makes it my nr. one choice.
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