Hamish Rickerby

Technology Consultant & iOS Developer based in Sydney, Australia

ESTA and Confusion

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I went to look at the ESTA website today as my girlfriend needs to apply for one of these authorisations to be allowed to travel to the US.

The website was very intimidating, and confusing.

  1. The URL - if you’re providing an online site that every traveller to the US has to visit to get an authorisation to travel my advice would be choose a URL that is easier to remember than https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/
  2. The warning message - one sure fire way to scare users is to show them a message that looks like this when they connect to the site
    Note: There is no expectation of privacy when you use this computer system
  3. Make it doubly confusing by completely contradicting the previous message on a “Help” page within the site.
    Note: Is this Web site secure and private? Yes.