I'm happy to announce that Yahoo! is releasing the results of a usability study that we did for OpenID. Our test subjects were several experienced Yahoo! users (representative of our mainstream audience) who were observed as they tried to sign into a product review site using the Yahoo OpenID service.
First, the good news. After the users completed their tests, we explained OpenID to them, and they all recognized the value of being able to easily sign into a new site without having to create a new ID and password. They also appreciated the potential of using their Yahoo OpenIDs to automatically verify their Yahoo email address without having to do manual email verification.
Now the bad news. None of the users had heard of OpenID before, and none of them even noticed the OpenID sign-in box displayed below the traditional email/password login form on the site. In many cases, the test subjects entered their Yahoo email address and Yahoo password to try to log in. We had told the test subjects that they could sign into the site using their Yahoo! account without having to register. (See Page 5 of the study.)
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