Biometric authentication is the process of establishing an individual's identity through measurable characteristics of their behaviour, anatomy or physiology. Biometric technologies, such as fingerprint systems, are increasingly being used in a diverse range of contexts from immigration control, to banking and personal computing. As is often the case with emerging technologies, the usability aspects of system design have received less attention than technical aspects. Fingerprint systems pose a number of challenges for users and past research has identified issues with correct finger placement, system feedback and instruction. This paper describes the development of an interface for fingerprint systems using an iterative, participative design approach. During this process, several different methods for the presentation of instruction and feedback were identified. The different types of instruction and feedback were tested in a study involving 82 participants. The results showed that feedback had a statistically significant effect on overall system performance, but instruction did not. The design recommendations emerging from this study, and the use of participatory design in this context, are discussed.