Understanding the Design Space of Embodied Passwords based on Muscle Memory

Rosa Van Koningsbruggen, Bart Hengeveld, Jason Alexander

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

2 Citations (SciVal)
31 Downloads (Pure)


Passwords have become a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives, needed for every web-service and system. However, it is challenging to create safe and diverse alphanumeric passwords, and to recall them, imposing a cognitive burden on the user. Through consecutive experiments, we explored the movement space, afordances and interaction, and memorability of a tangible, handheld, embodied password. In this context, we found that: (1) a movement space of 200mm 200mmis preferred; (2) each context has a perceived level of safety, which-together with the afordances and link to familiarity-infuences how the password is performed. Furthermore, the artefact's dimensions should be balanced within the design itself, with the user, and the context, but there is a trade-of between the perceived safety and ergonomics; and (3) the designed embodied passwords can be recalled for at least a week, with participants creating unique passwords which were reproduced consistently.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationMaking Waves, Combining Strengths
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages13
VolumeMay 2021
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380966
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2021

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


  • Afordances
  • Authentication
  • Embodied interaction
  • Explorative research
  • Movement
  • Useable security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software


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