It is human nature to circumvent hurdles to achieve their goals, and the same will apply to your workplace. In case your security measures overwhelm your app’s design while making the app hard to use, your employees will either ignore the security protocols or even ignore using the app itself. The former will mean compromising your data while the latter will lead to reduced productivity levels.
Some form of conflict has always existed between app usability and security in app development. While an app with an amazing design but flaw-filled security system will mean increased chances of data breaches, one that has stellar security measures but an inferior design will lead to reduced end-user buy-in. Given that more than 45% of organizations would like to invest in app security within the next year, according to Techbeacon.com, creating a secure and usable app will increase your ROI rates.
Here are five ways to balance both app aspects:
Focus On Security First
Most app developers start designing their apps with the assumption that users will typically consider security as a hindrance rather than a necessity. As a result, they will treat app security as an afterthought and start with designing an app with superior design features. While security might affect the design and performance of your app, the same can happen, whereby your design can make the app less secure.
The safe path is to design with both aspects in mind, without having to forego one over the other. This will result in a secure app that offers stellar user experience. In case of any discrepancies, you can use the two kinds of logs – error and access logs – for analysis to further perfect any of the two aspects, according to Loggly.
All Stakeholders Should work in Collaboration
Developers work using the mindset that everything needs to be easy and flawless for optimal customer satisfaction. On the flip side, the security team is obsessed with ensuring optimal data security even if it means that they have to make accessing the app a little bit slower. The challenge is to find common ground for bringing both stakeholders to work together in harmony.
App developers can point out issues with app security that can be adjusted through your app’s design. Similarly, the security team can identify security flaws within the design and offer valuable advice on how to overcome it. Both developers and IT experts must work in harmony to achieve one common goal – developing a user-friendly and secure app.
Simplicity Is Key
Complexity will almost always be a bottleneck for usability and security. It is easier to secure simple codes as they have reduced vulnerabilities. Similarly, the end users will easily understand simple systems and security procedures which will make it tough for them to unknowingly do something that will compromise their security.
Embrace simplicity in your design and security strategies. In the case of security, allow flexible password lengths and offer users the luxury of options if you use multifactor authentication to access your systems. The more comfortable users are with your systems, the higher the app acceptance rates.
Opt For Hardware-Based Authentication
App-based authentication can eat into app usability. Customers will typically be less motivated to use your app in case it requires them to remember long passwords. Also, such a system will require additional coding to facilitate it.
Why not work with hardware-based authentication options such as an iris scan or fingerprints? Given that computers and smartphones come equipped with this technology, it can be quite easy to embrace it in your design for easy access. As an added advantage, you will have cleaner code and a fast app development cycle.
Test the Chosen Strategies for Impact
There is no silver bullet for optimal app performance and security. Apps have to be tested time and again to ensure that the users are gratified regarding security and usability. Test the beta versions of your app and determine any changes that need to be made before launching it.
As a case in point, Android developers initially had a security policy that would need users to accept permission request by apps during installation. Not only did users find this task stressful, but some also rejected some of the necessary app permissions which hurt its functionality. A comprehensive test is bound to unearth such loopholes in your security policies, not to mention increase app usability.
Having a secure app should never mean sacrificing its usability. In case flaws occur on your app as a result of prioritizing one aspect over the other, then your business will take a hit. Consider the above tips to strike the right balance between security and usability and embrace high end-user buy-in rates.