Why does software security matter in UX design?

You design the look and feel of a product, right? You work with product managers, UI designers, writers, and developers. So why would you need to keep the software security of a product in mind in UX design? Surely that’s the responsibility of the developer? Not quite. 

Secure design builds user trust. When people feel their data is safe, they are more likely to use and recommend your product. Secure by Default is a set of these expectations: the features or functions that make a product or service secure, by default. So out of the box, without any additional work or cost, it’s resilient against cyber attacks. 

What is cyber security?

Cyber security safeguards internet-connected systems, networks, programs, devices, and data from cyber-attacks and threats. 

In 2022, businesses lost an average of $4.35 million because of data breaches, and there were approximately 236 million ransomware attacks worldwide in the first half of that year. 

We need to keep our people, systems, and data safe from unauthorized access or criminal use. Cyber security processes ensure that information stays confidential, intact, and accessible.

What is user experience (UX) design?

User experience (UX) design is the process design teams use to create products that provide seamless user experiences. UX design involves the design of the entire process of creating a product, including elements of branding, design, usability, and function.

UX design keeps teams focused on who you’re building your product for – your customers – and what matters to them. It involves pinpointing and understanding a specific user problem and then designing products or services to address the problem in a customer-centered way.

Why software security matters in UX design

Creating products and services that are secure-by-design and secure-by-default is becoming a priority for organizations around the world. That mindset shift means that security should be an integral part of any design process, including UX. When designing a product, there should be a balance between UX’s main priority – usability – and the dev team’s focus on security. Security is so much more than just technical – it’s emotional and psychological too because it relies heavily on building trust. 

As UX design is all about creating seamless experiences for users, it seems only logical that security plays a part in that. Without secure code and a secure environment, your end-user will likely not have the best experience possible. Not what you want, right? Security programs need to be user-friendly, and at the same time, UX needs solid security input to make sure it’s fit-for-purpose. So it’s a win-win situation for both specialist fields.

How security features in UX design

UX designers and developers often collaborate on a few areas during the design process where cyber security and UX design intersect. 

At the beginning of the design process

We’d love for cyber security to be part of every stage of the UX design process. That’s our goal: to have secure development be part of the whole SLDC. From ideation to completion, we would all be better off if we kept security in mind throughout the journey. 

During the design process

Choosing or building secure systems for the product that you’re designing is crucial, as protecting users’ data is key to building trust. There are many different authentication processes you can use or implement, such as:

  • Multifactor authentication (MFA) 
  • Username and passwords
  • Captcha
  • Security questions
  • Social media login
  • Biometric authentication
  • SMS and email verification
  • Device-based authentication 

UX is about reducing friction for users and creating enjoyable and intuitive experiences. Security controls, such as authentication checks, validation, and warnings, often introduce friction. Examine each control and the friction it introduces and decide if this is needed and necessary.

Maintenance, testing, and updates stage

It’s not like you design a product or feature and that’s it; you’re done. A product design often goes through many different iterations to create better safety capabilities, make the user experience more engaging and intuitive, and to get the balance right between usability and security. 

How SafeStack can help

Whatever your goals are with SafeStack, high-quality metrics and reporting are essential. We make it easy to track your team’s progress, measure your application security ROI, and push toward your goals.

Measure your maturity

SafeStack provides comprehensive reporting, allowing you to monitor how well your team is doing, where they excel, and where they might need some extra help. With reporting and metrics, you’ll be able to fine-tune your training efforts and ensure your team is on its way to becoming security champions and you are in control of your application security ROI.

Monitor your team’s progress against your goals

Quickly identify your most engaged learners and who might need a boost so you can celebrate successes and give extra support where it’s needed.

Adapt your training program as you go

By keeping an eye on the numbers, you can adjust your learning pathways as you go, making sure you’re always on the right path to success.

Move from awareness to advocacy

Embracing secure development is as much about changing your culture as it is about technical skills. SafeStack makes it easy to upskill and apply your learning daily, moving your team from basic cyber security understanding to embracing software security by design.

Partnering with every development team role 

Security is part of every team member’s role on every development team. We have content built for you in the way that you work including developers, testers, architects, product managers, analysts and – early in 2024 – UXers. 

Full range of reports to suit any requirement

Track your progress on a per-learner, per-course, or per-learning pathway basis with our simple reporting tool.

Easy data sharing and evidence gathering

SafeStack makes it easy to share your reports with auditors, executives, or other stakeholders. Simply download it as CSV or use one of our direct integrations to export your results automatically.

Making secure development & compliance easy

While compliance isn’t why we build software, getting it sorted can make things much easier. SafeStack helps organizations big and small meet their secure development compliance requirements with ease.

Integrates with major compliance platforms

Take the stress out of compliance with easy-to-use integrations and automatic data syncing to major compliance platforms such as Vanta. The SafeStack platform also meets requirements of major compliance schemes, including ISO 27001, PCI DSS 6.5, SOC2, NIST 800-53 and more.

Wrapping it up

Want to learn about how to make your products more secure? If you’re a UX designer and you want to learn how to weave application security through everything you design, our Pro Plan is for you. Or do you know someone else who could benefit from secure development training?

For only $10 a month, you’ll have unlimited access to all our Secure Development content, including courses and credentials, labs, monthly seminars, and our purpose-built online community.

Sign up to get started for free with full course content for 7 days, then choose a plan that suits — whether that’s the Pro Plan for full access, or our Free Plan.

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