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80/20 Rule for User Experience & User Adoption

The 80/20 rule is already well known in business for time management, financial planning, and beyond. But when it comes to user experience (UX) development and assessing user adoption of new technology and applications, this principle is also highly effective.

The basis of the 80/20 rule is that, on average, 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of the effort put into the task. When applied to time management, the principle is a tool that allows us to focus on the most important tasks (the 20 percent) and achieve the majority of our impact and outputs from (the 80 percent).

The 80/20 Rule in User Adoption

For UX work, the 80/20 rule is a bit trickier to follow. When designing any new application, you want it to appeal and be optimized for the majority of end users (the 80 percent), to do this, you need to ensure that at least 20 percent of the user experience meets the broadest of possible use cases. If the 20 percent of operations that make up the bulk of how your users interact with the technology is usable by 80 percent of those users, you’ll see the most success.

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This seems counter-intuitive to some. Many want to make an application work for every user, but at the end of the day, everyone uses their devices and app differently. People swipe with different fingers, they hold their phones in different positions, or with different hands. There’s no single way that people interact with their mobile devices that makes a single app experience perfect.

And there’s no area where developing an app for optimal user experience is as important as in security.

80/20 User Experience for Biometric Authentication

As you move away from passwords, PINs, and tokens and adopt biometric authentication for improved security, the user experience is as equally important as the security behind the technology. Making a biometric capture and authentication experience that is fast and easy to use will ensure user adoption and minimize risk through human error. Companies focused on user experience as a primary factor in security have seen a significant improvement in employee adoption of best practices, and will continue to advance their security deployment rapidly, as compared to firms that continue to push non-optimized solutions.

The keys are that the authentication process is quick and painless, adaptable to end user needs, and easy to grasp on the first try regardless of varying ways that users interact with their devices. For a biometric-based multi factor authentication mobile app, this final point is doubly important.

Ultimately, we need to ensure security practices are embraced by end users and the best way to do this is through UX design. Following the 80/20 rules helps to ensure that the maximum number of end users aren’t just comfortable using the practice, but enjoy doing so.

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