At lunch today with my wife she told me an interesting story about helping a potential client with online banking (she works for a bank). While in this meeting, my wife was explaining the benefits of online banking (the person was not using it) and when the client wanted to see what it was all about, she offered to help them sign up for online banking with their current bank. As my wife watched them walk through the setup process it came time to set up the username and password. As is normal with many sites now there were password requirements. At least six characters in length, one number and one special character. The person then says…

Special Character? What’s that?

With nothing in the process to explain “special characters” it takes a fairly simple concept and creates a definite chance for frustration.