Exploring the Acceptability of Graphical Passwords for People with Dyslexia

Polina Evtimova, James Nicholson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
166 Downloads (Pure)


Alphanumeric passwords are still the most common form of user authentication despite well-known usability issues. These issues, including weak composition and poor memorability, have been well-established across different user groups, yet users with dyslexia have not been studied despite making up approximately 10% of the population. In this paper, we focus on understanding the user authentication experiences of people with dyslexia (PwD) in order to better understanding their attitudes towards a graphical password system that may provide a more inclusive experience. Through interactive interviews, participants were encouraged to try three different knowledge-based authentication systems (PIN, password, and graphical password) and then discuss their strategies behind code composition. We found that PwD employed potentially dangerous workarounds when composing passwords, in particular an over-reliance on pattern-based composition. We report on how PwD do not immediately see the benefits of graphical passwords, but upon experiencing the mechanism we see opportunities for more inclusive authentication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2021
Subtitle of host publication18th IFIP TC 13 International Conference, Bari, Italy, August 30 – September 3, 2021, Proceedings, Part I
EditorsCarmelo Ardito, Rosa Lanzilotti, Alessio Malizia, Helen Petrie, Antonio Piccinno, Giuseppe Desolda, Kori Inkpen
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783030856236
ISBN (Print)9783030856229
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2021
Event18th IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human–Computer Interaction: Sense, Feel, Design - Bari, Italy
Duration: 30 Aug 20213 Sept 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference18th IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human–Computer Interaction
Abbreviated titleINTERACT 2021
Internet address


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