Googles new No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA could change the way we think about form security. Most web designers don’t like captcha security but they are a necessary evil these days. With the huge amounts of form spam we get some kind of auto form submission and bot security is needed on almost every form we create. Personally, I prefer to use simple captchas that don’t get in the way of the user such as asking a simple question but even these aren’t fall proof and sooner or later the bots beat them and spam gets through.
The most common captchas used by web designers seem to be of the ‘read and image and enter the text’ variety but even these can be tricky for users to use. Sometimes the text isn’t readable or the text entered wrong which all go to making a less than ideal user experience.
There have been other options for web designers to use as form security but none of them are ideal and they are all just work arounds and hacks to try and beat the bots more than help the user experience and create an easy form submission process.
Googles new reCAPTCHA services hopes to change all that with its ‘I’m not a robot’ checkbox.
Entering text in a box after trying to read a small image or do a maths question is less than ideal and asks the user to do a lot but with a simple click the new Google reCAPTCHA service can tell if you’re a bot or a human. But how does it do this with a simple click? Google uses a combination of factors to check what is happening on the page before the checkbox is clicked and it uses what happens with your mouse to see if you’re a real human navigating round a web page normally or a bot going straight for the submit button. Most of time this seems to work very well but on those occasions where Google can’t quite tell if you’re human it will show the standard text image that you need to read and enter text for.
In the world of form security this is a huge change and will make filling out forms a lot nicer for the end user. Googles service is also very easy to integrate for web designers and comes with a good API and works with all sorts of different coding languages.
To fully test out how good it is I’ll be adding it to the kc web design kent website over the next few days and using it on client sites. A few WordPress plugins are starting to appear now which will make it very easy to integrate on WordPress sites.
Its not often I say this but well done Google!