The Blog of Kendall

Observations and Interests of Kendall Schoenrock – Web 2.0, Startups, Technology, & Other Fun Stuff

January 21, 2007

Why is Verification stuck in Web 1.0?

Written by
Kendall Schoenrock

** Rant Warning ** I usually dislike registrations and during one today, I started thinking. Why is this annoying colored, drunk writing, crazy string of text or numbers the internet norm for verifying I’m a person and not a computer? Why is personal verification stuck in web 1.0?

Word VerificationI can’t stand it anymore. They are everywhere. I can’t sign up for anything now without someone asking me to decrypt some random string of text with a pair of lines obscuring the text or number printed on a warped background. On occasion, even though I’m actually trying to write the correct entry code, I can get it wrong. This really irritates me. I don’t think thats because I can’t see or perhaps I’m not paying attention, I think that sometimes the creators of this verification process don’t actually ever think about the comfort and usability of the end user. Some boss just told them to find a way to stop spam – and I applaud them for that. If, however, they did review our comfort, they would surly not write the text as illegibly as they do. Right?

But web2.0 is all the rage. Everything is bubbles and cotton candy and love and reflecting shadows and you + me = A global Community. Let’s all hold hands and sing kumbaya and then I can tell you why facebook is worth billions and digg is the king because they got started on $200 bucks, but oh yeah, before you can talk to me you have to take a lesson in cryptography from MIT.





Google is the only company that I observed, or noted, that has a handicapped alternative to this foolish text game. They will play an audio file with gibberish sounds in the background in conjunction with someone reading a string of numbers. This brings up a great point, what if you have a hard enough time seeing already? What do you do then?

Free Business idea: Make personal verification fun! Instead of of making me squint to read wobbly text, make me do something that requires a small amount of thought – without the strain or annoyance of these awful text boxes. Here is a simple idea that I pray a tech savvy entrepreneur finds and runs with. I’ll gladly share it with the world for free if someone will just implement it or something better than the current system.

Color / Image Tests:How about a simple graphic like the one I created in less than 3 minutes in photoshop. Then you could ask the human to identify simple characteristics about the image. For example: What color is the bunny?Color Test
If someone can please tell me why we have to stick with obscured text as the best form of verifications, I would be very interested in hearing from you. Please leave me a comment, but only if you’re a human. I apologize for such a negative post. What do you think? Please submit your ideas and lets start a movement to end these silly things.

2 comments for this post.

  1. Comment from Andi on January 29th, 2007 :

    So check out the comment CAPTCHA at A simple question, worded differently at times and covering different odd topics.
    Spam protection: what is the sum of 3 + 9 ?

  2. Comment from Kendall on July 25th, 2007 :

    Hi Andi! Thanks for your feedback. I like the CAPTCHA formatting…Thanks for reading

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