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Re: ACTION-335 logotypes and ISSUE-96 discussion

From: Ian Fette <ifette@google.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 09:14:13 -0800
Message-ID: <bbeaa26f0711130914k2c8b3aceocda99b1c978d9d46@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Dan Schutzer" <dan.schutzer@fstc.org>
Cc: "Serge Egelman" <egelman@cs.cmu.edu>, "Hallam-Baker, Phillip" <pbaker@verisign.com>, "W3C WSC Public" <public-wsc-wg@w3.org>

While I don't agree with all of Phil's points, there was one that I
definitely agree with that Serge seems to have glossed over. That would be
the point about whether you're testing the user over a half-hour in a lab,
or a longer (30+ day) field-study in their natural environment. Phil's point
was that anything new and disruptive is likely to show a strong effect in
the short-term, but over the long-term the effect may be drastically
different (including causing people to stop using the product). This is a
very good point, and I think that if possible we should aim to do a longer
field-study as opposed to a 30m in-lab study.

As for "testing them in a perfect world" - I have no idea why this is a good
experiment to run, because we know that we will never be operating in a
perfect world. I'm not saying we should test in a world with zero adoption,
but rather I'm saying that we should try to figure out (guess) what *
reasonable* adoption is, and test in that world. We already know that there
are some sites that are not adopting EV because of the cost model. I'm sure
someone is more knowledgeable about the specifics than I, but my
understanding is that, for instance, Google could not buy one EV certificate
for google.com and use it across all of our numerous servers, rather we
would have to pay some increased (large) fee based on number of servers.
(Also, does EV support wildcard certs?). Given that, you can come up with a
list of companies for which EV would be very expensive and likely not
adopted (eBay?), and test with the assumption that those sites won't adopt.
What does that do to the overall model?

Finally, I'm extremely concerned about the attitude of "Well, it works in
lab studies, so let's mandate it, vendors be damned." I understand the
desire not to be seen as being beholden to the desires of browser
manufacturers, but on the other hand, I have a very real desire not to be
seen as floating around in la-la land, disconnected from reality. If
something is going to cause people not to adopt a product, a vendor is not
going to implement it, regardless of any mandates from W3C. There is a very
real risk of steering ourselves towards irrelevancy. Without getting into
too many politics, that's why WHATWG was formed, and provides a good bit of
background for the current HTML5 *realpolitik*. I don't want to see us go
the way of XForms 2.

My $0.02 x 3 (== 0.03)

On Nov 13, 2007 8:51 AM, Dan Schutzer <dan.schutzer@fstc.org> wrote:

> agreed
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org [mailto:public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org]
> On
> Behalf Of Serge Egelman
> Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 11:23 AM
> To: Hallam-Baker, Phillip
> Cc: Ian Fette; W3C WSC Public
> Subject: Re: ACTION-335 logotypes and ISSUE-96 discussion
> This is irrelevant for our purposes.  If we test them and find that in a
> perfect world they don't work, then this is moot.  If we test them and
> find that they're effective, then we make a recommendation, and it's out
> of our hands.  At that point the application vendors aren't in compliance.
> serge
> Hallam-Baker, Phillip wrote:
> > I have never had the slightest difficulty selling the idea of logotypes
> > to customers. The problem is purely on the application side. The logos
> > have no value unless they are displayed.
> >
> > So we risk a chicken and egg situation where the application side people
> > refuse to do anything about implementation until they are assured that
> > there will be 100% adoption by the site owners which is not going to
> > happen until there are applications to present the logos.
> >
> > Someone has to make the first move, we cannot gate the scope of what we
> > will consider by requiring an assurance of total adoption by any market
> > participant.
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > *From:* public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org on behalf of Ian Fette
> > *Sent:* Fri 09/11/2007 4:49 PM
> > *To:* W3C WSC Public
> > *Subject:* ACTION-335 logotypes and ISSUE-96 discussion
> >
> > This action (ACTION-335) was to provide discussion topics for ISSUE-96.
> > I only really have one point, and I will try to state it more clearly
> > than at the meeting.
> >
> > To me, the effectiveness of any of the logotype proposals (or the EV
> > proposals, for that matter) depends greatly upon the adoption of these
> > technologies by sites. We can do really cool flashy things when we get
> > an EV cert, or an EV-cert with a logo, but right now the only two sites
> > I can find using an EV cert are PayPal and VeriSign. Therefore, I wonder
> > how habituated people would become in practice, if they never (or
> > rarely) saw the EV/logotype interface stuff in use.
> >
> > My proposal is that any usability testing of the EV and/or logotype
> > things in the spec not only reflect how users would behave in a land
> > where everyone is using EV-certs and life is happy, but rather also test
> > a more realistic case. That is, look at what the adoption is presently
> > and/or what we can reasonably expect it to be at time of last call, and
> > do usability testing in an environment that reflects that adoption rate
> > - i.e. some percentage of sites using EV certs, some percentage also
> > using logos, and another percentage still using "normal" SSL certs. My
> > worry is that we may be thinking "EV certs will solve X,Y, and Z", but
> > that may only be the case if users are used to seeing them on the
> > majority of sites, and should that not end up being the case, we need to
> > look at the usability and benefit in that scenario as well.
> >
> > I think this is what the ACTION wanted, i.e. for me to state this point
> > more explicitly. I am going to therefore assume that my work on this
> > action is complete, unless I hear otherwise.
> >
> > -Ian
> --
> /*
> PhD Candidate
> Vice President for External Affairs, Graduate Student Assembly
> Carnegie Mellon University
> Legislative Concerns Chair
> National Association of Graduate-Professional Students
> */
Received on Tuesday, 13 November 2007 17:14:35 UTC

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