There are many reasons that cyber security plans fall short in the workplace. When dealing with bad actors, nearly everything can be a pitfall in some respect or another. That means that every advantage you can create in your favor is crucial in the fight against security breaches—one of the most unassuming proponents of poor cyber security practices is user experience design. The world of design often operates in the background. When it’s good, we don’t notice. When it’s bad, we notice it right away. How does poor user experience design impact cyber security practices in the workplace? What can we do to change that to create a more secure internet for all?
What is User Experience?
Broadly, user experience (UX) design is the field of design that focuses specifically on understanding how a user will interact with a product with the final goal of improving the fundamental experience of integrating it into their daily lives. It prioritizes the user’s moment-to-moment experience over the presumptions of the product designers. Good user experience is practically invisible, and it takes teams of highly proficient people to create a system that feels natural and easy to use.
UX designers focus on three basic questions when designing product interfaces:
- How does the user interact with this product?
- How can we empathically solve the problems our product presents?
- What underlying assumptions or objectives do we need to understand in order to meet our user’s needs?
We care about solid user experience design because it’s the only way you can ensure a product is used to its maximum potential. It is well understood that people will often take the easiest path to their goals. Daniel Kahneman and his book, Thinking Fast and Slow explores the ways in which our brains optimize our cognitive loads by constantly taking shortcuts throughout the day. This, unfortunately, leads to corner cutting in many circumstances, many of these corners we don’t realize we’re cutting. UX designers understand the corner cutting we are primed to engage in and design product interfaces that reduce the maximum amount of friction wherever possible.
We can use something less abstract than cyber security tools to think about how UX touches our lives and reduces feature friction. The locks on our homes are simple to use. A key and lock mechanism is the only thing standing in between us and home security. We can easily imagine a world where this is not the case. If we move the keyhole down to the very bottom of the door or create a locking mechanism that requires multiple steps to engage, the sheer frustration of entering and exiting our homes would lead us to disregard the utility of our deadbolt.
This principle is one of the myriad reasons cyber security tools are left by the wayside in the workplace. Employees and business owners understand how important it is to secure shared drives. They keep our passwords private and lock their desktops when they leave for lunch. The security breakdown tends to arise when obstacles stand in between employees and the work they need to do.
Costly social engineering breaches that poke holes in the security plans of corporate giants like Verizon or MGM happen simply because their security plans had so many steps that sidestepping them entirely was the quickest way to get the job done. High-stress work environments and shrinking workforces contribute to costly corner cutting. Still, poorly designed cyber security solutions are among the most significant contributors to this rash of security breaches.
Complicated verification processes must take place behind the scenes, and we should strive to make security as straightforward as possible on the front end. Without the right user experience, the tools we use to protect ourselves simply fizzle out before they have the opportunity to protect our workplaces.
AXEL Go and User Experience
We understand how important user experience is in the cyber security battle. That’s why our file sharing service and all of our features are easy to access, clearly labeled, and simple to implement. The clean design of our application and the streamlined storage and sharing process is a nice secondary benefit to focusing on user experience. Still, primarily it is done to ensure our users and their businesses may enjoy the robust end-to-end encryption we provide.
Features like our secure fetch that may be unfamiliar to workplaces that have never had the opportunity to use such a tool have been streamlined for ease of use. Our secure fetch is a method for retrieving a file in full (including unaltered metadata) from a client by generating a secure, password-protected link. Once this has been shared, no tech savvy needs to be employed to enjoy the fully encrypted document retrieval. We do the heavy lifting and keep it behind the scenes to reduce the cognitive load for each party involved.
Our goal when providing you with a private, secure, and personalized storage solution is to protect you and your business online. By understanding how user experience design affects this, we have removed the barriers between the user and innovative security solutions. We took the time to build robust, decentralized server structures with the express desire to protect our users against some of the most sophisticated cyber-attacks. Still, all of the work put into our blockchain-backed security would go to waste if our application was confusing or difficult to use.
Protect Your Business With AXEL Go
AXEL Go is a file storage and sharing service designed to revolutionize how we think about security online. Our user experience design is focused on handing top-of-the-line security to any business of any size. Our AES-256 bit encryption and decentralized server structure thwart cyber attacks on big businesses as competently as it protects local operations. No matter how tight the budget for your practice may be, we are the perfect fit for secure, intuitive storage file sharing. You can try AXEL Go premium for free for 14 days. See what security backed by our $10,000 guarantee can do for your business.
 The Interaction Design Foundation. 2022. What is User Experience (UX) Design?. [online] Available at: <https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/ux-design> [Accessed 21 July 2022].
 Kahneman, D. and Egan, P., 2011. Thinking, fast and slow.
 Xda-developers.com. 2022. [online] Available at: <https://www.xda-developers.com/verizon-data-breach-employees-data/> [Accessed 21 July 2022].
 Allage, A., 2022. Council Post: Why Employees Violate Cybersecurity Policies. [online] Forbes. Available at: <https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/07/11/why-employees-violate-cybersecurity-policies/?sh=2b4517871d98> [Accessed 21 July 2022].
 Securitymagazine.com. 2022. | Security Magazine. [online] Available at: <https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/94909-the-evolving-role-of-user-experience-in-security> [Accessed 21 July 2022].