Why Usable Is Not Enough. What Psychological Needs Tell Us About the (non-) Usage of Security Mechanisms

Dr.-Ing. Ina Wechsung
Quality and Usability Lab, Technische Universität Berlin

2:15pm-3:15pm, 15 June 2016
EM G.45


The relationship between usability and security is often described in terms of trade-offs — a high security will result in compromising a systems usability as security mechanisms increase a systems complexity (Cranor & Garfinkel, 2004; Yee, 2004). On the other hand many researchers pointed out that "The more secure a system, the less secure the system" (Norman, 2010) as user try to circumvent security mechanisms if they are getting in their way. These behavioral strategies trying to bypass security mechanisms are related to motivational aspects: According to Hassenzahl and colleagues (Hassenzahl, Diefenbach, & Göritz, 2010), the main motivation to use interactive technologies is the fulfilment of psychological needs. This theoretical approach implies that users are not motivated to comply with security mechanisms if the security mechanisms are not meaningful to them, i.e. if the mechanisms are not related to the fulfillment of their needs. In this talk I will present results from an interview study, where we investigated which psychological needs users intend to fulfill with the (non-)usage of security and privacy mechanisms.