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OpenID User Interface Work Group Proposal

Page history last edited by Chris Messina 14 years ago

Charter Proposal

In accordance with the OpenID Foundation IPR policies and procedures this note proposes the formation of a new working group chartered to produce an OpenID specification. As per Section 4.1 of the Policies, the proposed charter is below (still liable to change during this feedback period). 


OpenID User Interface Working Group

Background Information

OpenID traditionally requires the Relying Party to redirect the entire browser window to the OpenID Provider for the user to authenticate before redirecting the browser back to the Relying Party. It is believed that the User Experience (UX) could be significantly improved if the authentication flow occurred within a smaller popup window, making the experience less disruptive to the user. 

Although it is possible for Relying Parties to open a popup window for the user to authenticate at the OpenID Provider using the Provider's default user interface, the overall user experience can be optimized if the OP was aware that its UI was running within a popup. For instance, an OP may want to resize the popup browser window when using the popup interface, but would probably not want to resize the full browser window when using the default redirect interface. Another optimization is that the OP can close the popup, rather than return a negative assertion if the user chooses to cancel the authentication request. 

Users who begin the OpenID sign in process on a Relying Party in one language and then transition to their OpenID Provider's site in a different language may find the overall experience to be very disruptive. In many cases, the Relying Party may want to pass a language hint to the OpenID Provider to use to display the User Interface to the user, especially if the user is not already authenticated at the OP.

Statement of Purpose

This workgroup intends to produce a very brief OpenID extension to enable the OpenID Authentication User Interface to be invoked in a standalone popup window, and to allow the Relying Party to request that the user interface be displayed in a particular language.


Produce an extension that allows an OpenID Provider to indicate its support of a popup friendly user interface, as opposed to the default user interface optimized for a full browser window. The popup must be in an independent browser window, and must not be framed by the RP. 

The extension will also define a mechanim for RPs to pass a language hint to the OP to help determine the langange used to display the OpenID Authentication user interface.

Out of Scope 

The content of the user interface other than the language that the interface is displayed in is out of scope.


OpenID User Interface Extension 1.0 

Anticipated audience

All those interested in improving OpenID Usability. 

Language of business


Method of work

Mailing list discussion. Posting of intermediate drafts in the OpenID Wiki. Virtual conferencing on an ad-hoc basis. 

Basis for completion of the activity

The OpenID User Interface Extension 1.0 final draft is completed. 


  • Allen Tom, atom@yahoo-inc.com, Yahoo!
  • Gabe Grayum, ggrayum@janrain.com, Janrain
  • David Recordon, davidrecordon@facebook.com, Facebook
  • Chris Messina, messina@google.com, Google
  • Breno de Medeiros, breno@google.com, Google
  • Luke Shepard, lshepard@facebook.com, Facebook
  • Vidya Shivkumar, vidya@janrain.com, Janrain

Initial Editors

  • Allen Tom, atom@yahoo-inc.com, Yahoo!
  • Breno de Medeiros, breno@google.com, Google

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