An Update on the Retail Advisory Committee and Improving User Experience


The Retail Advisory Committee

Last week representatives from the OpenID Foundation (Google, JanRain, NRI and Yahoo!) led a discussion about third-party authentication and user-centric identity with representatives from several online retailers. Topics included:

  • Business case for OpenID and third-party authentication
  • Best practices for online retailers leveraging OpenID
  • Leveraging rich user data from third party identity providers
  • Feedback from online retailers to the OpenID Foundation and member companies.

Tatsuki Sakushima of NRI led a case study presentation on Japan Airlines’ use of OpenID and a custom extension they developed for federated identity with hotel and car rental agency partners. This work has led into the creation of the Contract Exchange Extension working group to develop a standardized extension for this use case.

  • Japan Airlines saw a 100% increase in partner registrations as a result of the OpenID deployment.
  • Further, Japan Airlines was able to deploy a federated identity solution with its business partners faster, more flexibly, and at lower cost than alternative approaches they had been considering.

Praveen Alavilli of Amazon enthusiastically endorsed the work of the Usability Committee: the User Interface Working Group proposal and first draft of the OpenID User Interface Extension.

Brian Kissel of JanRain reviewed several case studies summarizing the quantitative and qualitative benefits of OpenID and third-party authentication. Some examples include:

  • Sulit.com.ph: 15% of new registrations are via OpenID, up from 10% a couple of months ago
  • 37 Signals: 15% of logins are via OpenID on their Basecamp productivity application
  • Mixx: UI improvement resulted in ten-fold increase in registrations via OpenID and third-party services. 20% increase in registrations from direct and referrer traffic.
  • AFI (Rock band, event promotion): “We were blown away with the fan response. In two weeks we received 850 (YouTube video) submissions, had 12,500+ fans register on the website, 10,000+ comments, and over 100,000 votes to select our winners.”
  • Get Satisfaction: Deployments for their customers — Twitter and Songbird — are seeing OpenID utilization of 20% or more
  • Sourceforge.net: OpenID login has grown to about 10% of total logins
  • Stackoverflow: Third-party registrations have grown from 10,000 to 50,000 users in a couple of months

The entire webinar presentation is on Slideshare and embedded below.

Improving the OpenID User Experience

Speaking of the Usability Committee, at the last OpenID Foundation Board meeting, an official committee was formed to help continue spearheading the community efforts. Allen Tom of Yahoo! and Luke Shepard of Facebook agreed to co-chair this important new committee. They’re looking for volunteers, so if you’re interested, make sure to get in touch with them. With Breno de Medeiros of Google, Tom is proposing an OpenID User Interface Extension. This an exciting continuation of the work started at the Content Provider Advisory Committee as well as the past User Experience Summits hosted at Yahoo! and Facebook.

So it’s been an exciting and productive time during the last few weeks. We encourage others to share their experiences, successes and challenges with the OpenID community via the mailing lists and our new UserVoice feedback site.

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