What is it?
This is a pattern found in the Slack iOS (and Android) app. It allows Slack users to login into the app without using a password. Instead, they authenticate with a link sent to their inbox.
How does this interaction or pattern work?
When Slack users are trying to login into the mobile app, they see a single field form for their email address, instead of the traditional email-password forms found in other apps. Once they submit their email address, the Slack app shows them a new screen that prompts them to use a "Magic Link" sent to their inbox to finalize their login. There's also a secondary option to use the traditional password login, but this option is evidently demoted in the screen hierarchy.
When the user taps the "Send Magic Link" button, the app shows them a third screen which informs them that the email containing the link was sent. There's also a primary button that reads "Open Email App". When the users tap this link, Slack fires a deep-link and opens the native email application which presumably is configured with the inbox that is receiving the "magic link."
After receiving and opening the message that contains the "Magic Link," the users can now tap that link which would automatically deep-link back to the Slack app and pass all the proper authentication credentials to finalize the login process. At this point, the users don't have to interact the with the login flow anymore, and they will be logged-in and ready to use the app.
How does it help or delight the user?
Reducing Friction and Increased Security.
Passwords are hard. Most modern systems require users to set complex passwords that are hard to crack but equally hard to remember. Many users end up using the same password across many services, and this makes them more vulnerable to a potential identity or information theft.
Slack "Magic Link" is a mechanic that allows users to login smoothly without relying on hard to remember passwords. This type of login strategy is helpful for users that juggle with multiple passwords and that don't remember which one they have used for a particular service.
Passwords, in general, have been widely criticized as a poor user experience, but only until now we have been seeing an emergence passwordless strategies like this one.
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