Most of the time, I can barely read them.
I understand their purpose, and I know why they exist. But that doesn't mean that I actually like the things, and it definitely doesn't mean that I like entering data into them.
But then there's the ones that I find are actively HOSTILE to the end user.
After all, the usage pattern for these evil things is fairly standard, everyone knows what to do:
- Squint and try and make out the relevant letters
- Type those letters in as they are displayed
- Press the submit icon/button/dongle/blood letting device
Which is where I get to that hostile statement above.
I found one of these captchas, and entered the data, and it came back invalid.
So I entered it again, with the same results.
And again, and again.
Finally, I was starting to want to smack the website's author when I noticed something.
Who puts instructions on a captcha I thought to myself as I began to read.
For posterity, I made a screen shot. And in case you were wondering, this is the context of that block of text:
Confirmation code READ THIS INSTRUCTION CAREFULLY: *Yes, they REQUIRE you to type a lower-case "w" as the first letter of the field.
Type a lower-case "w" into the box and then follow it with the code exactly as you see it. The code is case sensitive and zero has a diagonal line through it. The initial "w" is necessary - the system will reject your registration if you do not include it
Why? As far as I know it's just to annoy anyone trying to register for their site.
My ultimate thought: poor, poor design.