Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

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Presentation Discussion

  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    May 21, 2012 | 11:32 p.m.

    Well I never would have thought I was interested in security systems, but your video really got me interested. As a person who can not deal with yet another password, I really appreciated your questioning the assumption that security comes at the expense of usability. Thanks for this interesting presentation!

  • Icon for: Michael Karlesky

    Michael Karlesky

    May 22, 2012 | 10:03 a.m.

    So glad to hear! With this project our loftiest of goals is to fundamentally change expectations of security interaction experiences. In fact, one of our inspirations was the relatively new field of Positive Psychology. Historically, Psychology has dealt with minimizing maladies. Positive Psychology’s goal is to maximize positive experiences (e.g. contentment, happiness, etc.). Similarly, rather than only minimize negative interactions associated with security interfaces, we’re exploring maximizing pleasurable experiences instead.

  • Icon for: Claudia Farber

    Claudia Farber

    May 23, 2012 | 12:03 p.m.

    It is great to see the important area of usability engineering applied to the problems of user interface design in security systems. It is also interesting to see how game design is being applied to more and more real-world problems. Nice work!

  • Icon for: Michael Karlesky

    Michael Karlesky

    May 23, 2012 | 03:45 p.m.

    Thank you very much! We’re certainly hoping for game changing results. Ahem. Pardon the pun. Could not resist.

  • Icon for: Pamela Allen

    Pamela Allen

    May 24, 2012 | 02:06 p.m.

    I like the pun, and the engaging presentation. I second Joni’s comment on interest in security systems. I’m impressed with the creativity of your idea, and wish you the best of luck with the future studies!

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Icon for: Michael Karlesky


Polytechnic Institute of New York University
Years in Grad School: 1

Open Sesame: Moving Beyond Frustration in Security Usability & Interface Design

Identification and authentication in computer security systems is burdensome to use mentally and physically — we must remember many complex passwords or we must carry devices in order to maintain access to systems and buildings. Usability security researchers to date mainly frame this issue only in terms of minimizing frustration with these seemingly unavoidable burdens. With this project, we aim to make a paradigm-shifting move in how identification/authentication systems operate by reframing the way we approach their design and evaluation. Our aim is to leapfrog over merely minimizing frustration and land upon maximizing pleasurable experiences. We posit that pleasurable interactions will increase adoption and participation in security systems and maximize their efficacy. Open Sesame will combine two promising areas of technological innovation, behavioral biometrics and movement sensing, to create a new kind of secure system embodied in a doorway entry mechanism that is pleasurable and engaging to use. Open Sesame will identify users at a distance and with a unique gesture allow them to unlock the door of the Game Innovation Lab at NYU-Poly. This project brings together approaches from game design and Human Computer Interaction with the intent of creating momentary experiences that are a satisfying part of one’s daily routine — more like drinking a morning coffee than reciting the quadratic equation.