Jun 25 2017

Second Generation Web Certificate Mental Model Builder

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As we continued to explore, however, we felt that our pipeline visual model missed some nuances that might help build a stronger model of how certificates work. We decided to emphasize the process more strongly.



Our second generation mental-model builder is shown in the figure below, and suggests cycle-like process, whereby the user requests a URL, which is used by the browser to access the certificate, which is then presented in the form of indicators to be interpreted by the user. We hope this makes it clear that it is the role of the browser to not only show the website, but also use the certificate to offer advice to aid decision-making. Our hope is that this “cycle” model will develop an expectation in users to receive the advice, and therefore make better decisions. In turn, we feel this will encourage website providers to obtain strong certificates.