Why Are Captcha's So Hard To Read?

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Anyone have any idea why those Captcha forms (used to make sure you're a human and not a software program) are so hard to read.

How frustrating it is to fill out a long drawn out form and at the end have seven (or more) squiggly letters they demand you write.

I've given up many times and never bothered to submit the form because of this problem. Why do they make them so hard to read? Is that on purpose? Any thoughts.
  • Profile picture of the author JoeUK
    Haha, you get used to them I think but I do agree some of them are terrible and I too have given up registering on a site or whatever simply because I couldn't make out the captcha. Sometimes I feel like emailing the site owner and saying 'hey you might wanna check out your captcha as I think you could be losing allot of signups because of it...
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by JoeUK View Post

      Haha, you get used to them I think but I do agree some of them are terrible and I too have given up registering on a site or whatever simply because I couldn't make out the captcha. Sometimes I feel like emailing the site owner and saying 'hey you might wanna check out your captcha as I think you could be losing allot of signups because of it...
      It's IMPOSSIBLE to get used to them. You have to wonder why they are so STUPID! They will distort and run an r into an n. Is that an M? They will distort i,l,1, etc... Ok, WHAT IS IT!

      And the audio is even WORSE! And it should be EASIER to implement. Just have someone saying garbage and periodically have someone say bits of what needs to be said in different tones. The person can enter what makes sense and, again, computers are HORRIBLE at doing that. Just make sure that the garbage is kind of in line with what might be there, that speakers change, and level is constant throughout. AGAIN, to throw the computer off.

      The ORIGINAL idea was to destroy the ability for the average program to follow certain guidelines to determine what a character is. Possible methods?

      1. SNOW
      2. Confusing hashes
      3. Changing colors
      4. changing orientation
      5. changing typefaces
      6. characters out of alignment
      7. numeric ties, that could be included in instructions.

      It would be VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE to handle all that! And GUESS WHAT! A human could read it, and NOBODY has used it to full effect. Has ANYONE thought of, for example, using portrait and landscape together? And for #7, the closest I have seen is where it may display numbers and ask you to like add them together and divide by 7. Computers are GREAT at the process but looking at two TOTALLY different formats, tying them together and parsing the language? NOPE! They have tried to do that for DECADES and apparently are STILL far off.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author The A
    lol, feel the same stuff too. I believe those creating all those ugly captcha images are ones who live more useless lives than I do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jyotijain
    Yes really some time weird Captcha text and images irritated a lot, i mostly keeps on click on refresh button till get readable text. It is important for anti Spam but it should be easily readable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Patterson
    Originally Posted by The Niche Man View Post

    Anyone have any idea why those Captcha forms (used to make sure you're a human and not a software program) are so hard to read.

    How frustrating it is to fill out a long drawn out form and at the end have seven (or more) squiggly letters they demand you write.

    I've given up many times and never bothered to submit the form because of this problem. Why do they make them so hard to read? Is that on purpose? Any thoughts.
    I think the same engineers that design the mess you find underneath the hood of a car do captcha designs in their free time...
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  • Profile picture of the author LeeLee
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      I've posted about this just recently.

      I don't put my potential clients through the hell of CAPTCHA on my enquiry forms. I just set up Outlook rules and delete the batches of spam.

      I figure this is the lesser of two evils.


      Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    chapta doesnt worry

    i have a chapta translate program
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  • Profile picture of the author squadron
    I much prefer the solve the Maths question type of validation. As I get older, the Captchas get harder and if I click the audio button I can't understand a word because of all the background noise.
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  • Profile picture of the author mattyprimmer
    lol They have to be that messy or the spam bots will get through! Those bots read this text and try to guess just like us. The word image is generated by code and scrambled on purpose. I find the "reCaptcha" images very hard to read - probably why they claim to be so effective! Most scripts I've worked with have an option to turn down the difficulty if you feel it's too tough for your users.

    The math option is always a good alternative. I personally feel the image captcha is the more professional looking option though.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    BTW my credit check agency service, THAT I PAY FOR, uses captcha INSIDE their site. That is utterly MORONIC! I mean you have to log in to get there! You have to PAY! I can only update THEIR info once a day, and industry info once a month. The captcha does NOTHING but run UP their costs, and frustrate customers!

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      I don't mind "logic" captchas (ie "what is the color of grass?"), but I think that distorted image captchas should be ILLEGAL. They are definitely one of the worst ideas of all time!!

      It's easy to prevent spambot submissions without using ANY type of captcha at all... and it's too bad that more people don't do this.

      For example, a spambot will always fill out all form fields on a page before clicking submit. So all you have to do is create an extra, hidden form field (which human visitors will never see, but the spambot will). And name it something that looks legitimate to a spambot, like "phone number". Then just add some conditional logic in your code that blocks the submission if the hidden form is filled out.

      Very simple solution... no @$%#^ captcha required!
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  • Profile picture of the author Perrymma
    As we get older the computer gets smarter. I dont think there is anyway around it really.
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by Perrymma View Post

      As we get older the computer gets smarter. I dont think there is anyway around it really.
      Yeah, you're right! Computers have gotten SO smart that now they can, in a millisecond, come up with an IQ of ZERO! My first computer might have taken a second or two to get that far!

      Steve
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