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What is the best solution for an app : Email or username field?

I like email because:

  • it's unique
  • user will easily remember
  • it's personal (which can be a disadvantage sometimes; Multiple users on the same account)

Unfortunately we usually have to type more letters to login (write the name + @domain.com)

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4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Neither is universally better, but you don't have to choose. Use both.

It's trivial to test whether an input field is an email or a username (check whether it contains @), so you don't even need a separate field for it. Just have an Email / username field.

Each has different strengths, so if you have to use one, choose what matters most to your application and customers. Usernames are shorter, you often can't have the username you want in an application, so you end up with different usernames which you can easily forget. Emails are harder to forget as there is more consistency than with usernames.

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2  
it can bring confusion if using the same field for both, isn't it? –  Marc D Nov 8 '11 at 13:06
1  
I've seen it used often enough without a problem. Seeing a field called "Email or Username" is pretty clear. –  JohnGB Nov 8 '11 at 13:53
4  
However, many users that login with their e-mail adres (e.g. gmail) think that they must also type in their e-mail password. I have seen this several times. Partial solution is to clearly mark the fields: username or e-mail adres you registered with, password you registered with. –  Bart Gijssens Nov 18 '11 at 14:56

An email field is best way to login. One more advantage is there, if I forgot password they click "reset password" to send mail for password changes.

You are correct name is always duplicated for each person. Better we can have email field for login.

Worst case we can allow to enter below cases:

Case1:

  • Name / Email ID (we have to do lots of query)
  • Password

Case2 (I prefer this):

  • Email ID
  • Password

-- Elumalai J.

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I think email is preferable, the user will more likely remember an email address and it will be unique so they will not have to create an username that they can't remember.

You could always offer to take username or email then the system can handle the rest.

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1  
The e-mail address is only unique if it is personal to one user. I know various families that use one mutual e-mail address for the whole family (especially among less tech-savvy users that do not check out alternative e-mail hosts, but who simply use the one pre-configured e-mail account by their ISP). Moreover, depending on the policy of the e-mail provider, if a user changes their e-mail address, that address is free for other users again. If the user doesn't update the account on the website in question, their old account will block the e-mail address that now belongs to someone else. –  O. R. Mapper May 1 at 18:35

Email makes the most sense. If you require any kind of email-validation upon sign up on your site, there is no chance of a user's login being unavailable when registering meaning they wouldn't have to remember yet another username for a specific site, which may not be the same as they use elsewhere due to conflicts.

I agree with JohnGB, allowing both username/email is the best practise, if you record both.

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1  
"there is no chance of a user's login being unavailable when registering" - that's not true. If only because the user's e-mail address formerly belonged to someone else, who removed their e-mail account without bothering to also delete their account on the page that uses the e-mail addresses as the user name. –  O. R. Mapper May 1 at 18:36

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