Weaving privacy into your website’s user experience

May
15

What do you imagine when you hear about good user experience design? Maybe a website resembling a candy, attractive to look at, easy to unwrap, and enjoyable to eat. It is user-friendly, fast, intuitively understandable, with all buttons at the user's fingers. People make as few steps as possible, because a modern site gets better and better at knowing them, remembering their choices, analyzing their behavior, and giving them what they are looking for... However, on this island of relaxation and convenience, while you are waiting for a coconut to fall right into your hands, it’s easy to forget about safety and privacy. We are here to remind everyone about them.

The world is getting so digitized that the exposure of digital data can lead to real consequences. Voluntarily announcing things on social media pages, so popular these days, is every person’s choice. But if you a site owner, your users’ privacy on your web resource largely depends on you.

A truly user-friendly place is one where everyone feels protected and respected. Ready to provide a place like this? Then discover a couple of ways to make your website’s usability and privacy inseparable friends.

Some tips on making privacy and user experience inseparable

Only collect the data you really need

There is a temptation to learn as much as possible about your users for marketing purposes. However you should analyze what information you really need (and if it really helps improve user experience and marketing effect), and what you can do without. You will be free from storing tons of not so essential and often sensitive data.

Simplify your form fields

This tips follows from the previous one, since form fields are one of the easiest ways to collect personal data. When simplified, forms will be better both in terms of privacy and user experience.

Keep your Google Analytics less “curious”

Google Analytics and similar services by default track plenty of information, the importance of which you also need to rethink for the sake of privacy. An example of such sensitive data is the user’s IP address. There now is an option to mask them by not showing the last eight characters. An extension in Google Analytics called “_anonymizelp()” provides IP address processing in abridged form, which helps websites observe privacy policies.

Switch to HTTPS

When there is a lock symbol in the upper left corner of your website with the label “secure,” it gives more than a feeling of safety — it gives safety. So consider switching to the HTTPS protocol, which sends the data in an encrypted form, making it much harder for intruders to intercept information, even in public Wi-Fi spots.

Get a privacy policy page

Inform your users that you are playing by the rules by offering them a clear and understandable page describing your privacy policy. Let your guests know about the cookies you use and what happens to the information you get from them.

Use what your CMS has to offer — in particular, Drupal

If you website is built with a CMS (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla), check out its privacy settings and tools. Since our favorite content management system (or, we should say, content management framework) is Drupal, we are happy to say it has a wealth of privacy-enhancing modules. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.

  • Here is the EU Cookie Compliance module, which lets you observe the EU Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications. It immediately and clearly informs your visitors that you are using cookies and gives them several options: learn more, disagree etc.
  • The more encryption, the better — it’s a secret code! The Encrypt module give you an API for two-way data encryption. The data is decrypted with the same key that was used to encrypt it.
  • If your website works both via HTTP and HTTPS, you can use the Secure Login module which allows for submitting login forms, as well as other important forms of your choice, via HTTPS.

Privacy and user experience are truly inseparable in our Drudesk team, because we have cool experts in both fields who work side by side. They are always ready to examine your website and give you good advice. You can also order a security audit and a usability audit to discover every detail of making your website the most protected and user-friendly place it can be!

Contact us — we do respect your privacy. The HTTPS symbol is something you will notice at first glance, and our friendliness and respect are something you will feel all through our cooperation!

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