OpenID.net should have a friendly explanation
I'd like to link somewhere to explain openid (from my applications that support openid sign in), and it seems like openid.net would be the logical place.
But at openid.net, there is no clear, newbie-friendly explanation of how it actually works. I click "What is openID" and I get a whole page of text... that doesn't really answer my question.
I think we need another link at the top... like, "How does it work" maybe?
http://openidexplained.com is closer, but it looks a little embarrassing somehow.
agreed...I am completely in the soup...I tried to use OpenID and I have no idea how. YouTube just made major changes to heir site. I want to give my opinion on their blog. They are forcing me to log in using accounts I do not wish to. They give open ID as an option. And yet it says to provide the OpenID url and I have no idea what that means, so I could over here and cannot find an explanation
I entirely agree with David Reese: it's not user friendly. I finally found Sam Ruby's explanation and was able to learn how to get an OpenID. But this is something that the site itself should answer under the "Get an OpenID" link.
Mike Sutton commented
Don't use text - draw a usage picture - make it fun and it will communicate far more than you could write (and you wouldn't need to translate it either!). Perhaps make a simple animation - even better.
Mark Niemann-Ross commented
So I've been pointing people at http://openid.net/get-an-openid/ . Seems like that's pretty clear - or are there other opinions on this?
David Reese: EXACTLY. Sorry for yelling. The "What" page says, "For businesses, this means" and "For geeks, OpenID is...". But not "For all of us as regular internet users..." To be fair, the first sentence hints about the benefit to a user, but the second sentence already gets into "choos[ing] a provider". I'm not trying to choose a provider yet. I'm trying to understand what an openid is.
Chris Messina: reusable messages for different audiences sounds nice but the main need is for one message on this one site for the one main audience: the potential users!
I got here googling for help logging into an openid-enabled site. Seems like openid.net is the one most likely place people would go to learn that. It's pure luck that when the login screen for this forum led through a Google dialog and finally to "Create a UserVoice Forum," I backed out of and discovered that now I was logged in here to post this comment. Do you remember the title scene to the Get Smart TV series with the doors?
daveman692: it's hard to suggest actual text since I still don't know what an OpenId is, but...
In What is it, say what it is as far as what I type or interact with. A long user name and password? A URL and a password? A dialog box? A cookie?
Rename "How do I get one" to "Get one," because "how" should be reserved for...
Add "How do I use it?" Show the process that's common to all OpenId-using sites, from clicking the login button or openid button to "there, you're signed in." Not just sites that have Google or Yahoo login buttons. If signing into a new site with an existing OpenId involves detours into cross-authorization with the provider, and account-creation with the new site (as it seems to with Google and uservoice on this site), say so. If the way it works with this site is a really bad example of how simple OpenID is supposed to make things for users, get it fixed!
The "How do I get one?" page should say that the long string in each example is your openid, if that's actually true. The google entry says "look for the 'Sign in with a Google account' button." Say what to do if there is none. Say what my OpenID is in that case. I can't believe OpenId only works if every compatible site includes a button for every provider. The blogger entry suggests blogname.blogspot.com, but blogger blogs have multiple authors. Even at blogspot I can't sign in with my blog name. So, figure out the correct openid and action for a blogspot blogger.
David Reese commented
Weird, I didn't get any notification for the first two messages, just the most recent one from Chris.
I haven't actually found any good, user-targeted (not developer-targeted) explanations of OpenID; the one at Yahoo (http://openid.yahoo.com/, click on OpenID Tour) is a start, but not terribly helpful. All seem to degenerate into jargin (as soon as they say "provider" or "relying party", they've lost).
I'd be up for helping write or review new explanations/tutorials, if that's something that's helpful.
AdminChris Messina (Admin, OpenID) commented
We're working on this — it won't happen right away, but in the next few months, I think that we'll have several reusable messages for addressing different audiences.
I also agree.but the sites that do not use it Especially forums should get a lower ranking in search. I cannot register at all these forums with their stupid posting rules and so on. if open id is to be more popular then they should have a decent common explanation for it.
Admindaveman692 (Admin, OpenID) commented
Hey David, completely agreed and this is something we're working on. Do you have any suggestions for actual text to use on the site?