Balancing business security and user experience

Whether you are running a big business or a small business, you will understand the constant tension between keeping your business safe and secure while also trying to ensure that you are easy to work with for both your customers and your staff.

It can often seem that business security and user experience are mutually exclusive, but the latest developments in access and identity management are looking to bridge the gap between the two.

Why is security important

It is well established that having a seamless and painless customer experience is essential to the success of your business. If you are requiring your customers to jump through too many hoops for identity and access management, they will soon become impatient and look elsewhere to satisfy their needs. However, if there is any security breach and the personal data of your customers is potentially accessed by a malicious third-party, then the compromises that you made in the name of user experience will suddenly seem like very expensive mistakes.

Don’t underestimate your customers

We live in a world where we have all seen what happens when businesses fail to protect the personal data of their customers, and many have us have experienced this first hand. Your customers will understand why you are requiring identification, verification, and authorization in any transaction that they are undertaking with you. Rather than trying to compromise on your security, it is important to be up-front with your customers, explain to them the steps that you are following to keep their information safe, and then make the identification, verification, and authorization stages as smooth and as easy-to-use as possible.

Bring your users into the process

One of the mistakes that we see businesses frequently making, is that they see User Acceptance Testing as something that happens towards the end of the design and implementation process. In any security and verification process that you are looking to implement, it is important to bring the voice of the customer into the design process as early as possible. Use focus groups to understand the expectations of your customers, learn from the experiences that your customers have encountered elsewhere. Don’t build it first and then view User Acceptance Testing as a tick-box exercise that happens at the end of the design process. By bringing the voice of the customer into the design process from the very beginning, you are ensuring that security and access management is seamlessly incorporated into the customer journey.

Are customers ready for biometrics?

In many ways, the battle over biometric verification of users has already been fought and won. Apple have been one of the first major consumer brands to demonstrate that clever design can be used to enhance your user access security. The incorporation of a fingerprint identification and verification in the iPhone product has been universally accepted by users without hesitation. The smart move by Apple was to incorporate the fingerprint identification process into the already existing home button that users were familiar with and comfortable with.


The world of data protection and system security is going to become increasingly complex but also increasingly important. We must continue to adapt and evolve our design process so that we can continue to ensure that the user experience reflects and enhances security requirements and is not damaged by them.