I hate Captcha systems. Now, I don't only hate them because they're only mildy effective
while being creatively annoying
, but also because I'm a toaster-class Cylon and I consider them an affront to my intelligence. Okay, that isn't true, but the fact is that Captcha hasn't evolved all that much in the past several years and it's generally an annoyance. You type in barely legible words, that occasionally have a strikethrough, and the best you can hope for is that the word combinations say something laughable so you at least get a little entertainment out of the experience.
Image source: CC BY-SA 2.0
Fortunately, one common user of Captcha is dismissing it from their site. Ticketmaster has decided that Captcha is now too hated to use. Are you ready for the massive change?
Ticketmaster has moved to ditch it in favour of a simpler system. It means users will write phrases, such as "freezing temperatures", rather than, for example, "tormentis harlory".
Oh. Okay, well that's...mildly different, I suppose. If you're wondering how this almost noticeable change in user input is going to be achieved, allow me to explain. See, instead of using whatever 8-year-old-boys-playing-Madlibs algorithm that's currently employed to generate the response words in barely legible form, the system will now be a sort of Q&A, chiefly used to allow advertising in the form of questions. For instance, you might be given the name of a well-known brand of gum followed by a request to input what the brand name is commonly associated with. You might also get to answer in multiple choice format. While the choice to include advertisements within the system may seem odd, at least everything will now be legible. Testing thus far appears to show positive results.
The average time to solve a Captcha puzzle was 14 seconds, while the new system was taking users an average of seven seconds to figure out.
Halving the input time is certainly an improvement. It remains to see how many advertisers want to be associated with a system not all that different from one almost universally hated.