Digital Identity Needs User Experience

Digital Identity Needs User Experience

I have always wondered why we don’t have our driver’s licenses on our phones. Why do I have to carry my wallet still? Why can’t it be digital? We had the privilege of attending the Canadian Cybersecurity and Identity Expo 2019 this past year. The event brought together a fantastic group of people to talk about the big questions in our industry. One of the biggest problems posed was this: “Does digital Identity need user experience?” With the collaboration of private and public institutions with our citizens, we concluded that we could create an experience that is trusted and respected. To achieve this, we must be human-centered when we are designing Digital Identity systems.

Human-centric design is essential when we design these ecosystems. To create successful systems, we need to change the way we interact with the people that use them. Does this pose a design problem? We humbly think so. We believe that designing our solutions with a focus on the people who will use them is an essential part of the creation of trust and usability.

While at the expo, we sat in on a break-out session being run by Blackberry. The running joke was that they had not made phones in years. Interestingly, what Blackberry has been making is remarkable software ranging from two-factor authentication and device management to collaborative workspaces. One thing that struck me from this presentation was that one of the presenters had UX in every single one of his slides. When we asked him why, he said these words: “User Experience is what makes Digital Identity possible.”

Imagine this scenario: You are about to go on a trip overseas, and you need to apply for a passport because you have never had one before. How do you go about doing it? Luckily, the government website explains how to do this in a few steps. But why do you need to go to their website, fill out a form, find two guarantors, gather your identity verifying documentation, find a place that will take passport photographs, take the picture, wait for the picture to get signed by someone waiting, and then take it to a Service Canada location only to wait for someone to tell you it take two to four weeks and that it will arrive in the mail, which assumes that you have a home where you can receive it?

Wouldn’t it be a much better experience if all you had to do was show up at Service Canada and let them know that you applied for a passport and that you’re there to pick it up or place it in your digital wallet?