Distil Networks has released new research on how CAPTCHAs – a widely-used tool to protect websites against malicious computer programs known as bots – affect user behaviour and the difference in engagement between users on both mobile and desktop browsers.
The study was conducted through a trivia quiz about U.S. history and politics promoted via social media. A CAPTCHA was randomly placed at the end of approximately half the 1,079 quizzes served. The study used quizzes to explore the impact that CAPTCHAs may have on sustaining Web traffic and how they affect user behavior in completing forms.
Results revealed that CAPTCHAs have a much larger effect on users accessing forms with mobile devices. Users who took the quiz via a mobile device were 27 percent more likely to abandon the quiz when faced with a CAPTCHA than users accessing the quiz from desktops.
Findings also indicated that CAPTCHAs cause businesses to miss out on a sizable portion of potential leads. According to the study, when a CAPTCHA was presented, users were, on average, 12 percent less likely to continue on to the content they had come to access, for both desktop and mobile. This number indicates a significant loss in potential leads.
“There is a need to distinguish between bots and actual human traffic, but that shouldn’t come at the cost of website conversions”, said Rami Essaid, CEO and Co-founder of Distil Networks. “Outdated solutions like CAPTCHAs significantly reduce registrations, leads, and other website inquiries. Businesses should consider frictionless solutions that automatically detect human visitors from the bots.”