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I'm currently working on a user menu for a site and I'm worried that the term Account could be confusing because of the nature of the relationship. Just like with a bank one user may have multiple accounts and each account can have various settings.

For example, John Doe in the below mockup is the user on the site, but he may have access to multiple accounts, each account for a different company or a different branch of the company. Internally those are referred to as accounts but I believe that users on the site, would refer to their account as the account to login to the website, so I'm suggesting we go with the terms User and Company.

The two settings pages would have different options, for example:

User Settings:

  • change email address
  • change password

Company Settings

  • billing preferences

  • mailing address

I've also looked at places like Bank of America's site as an example. They don't seem to have a problem referring to the Bank/Credit Card accounts as accounts while also saying Account Settings in reference to the user's settings.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

How about "User account"?

Account usually actually refers to an actual account. E.g. I have an account with Amazon, and if I access my account information I can also change my password etc. If you're in a situation where that account with the service is something else conceptually than the account with the website, you need to be careful. The account for my bank's website might allow me access to a number of my bank accounts. If you're not able to communicate the difference between the two kinds of accounts, perhaps one of them shouldn't be called account.

So, I think you've got the right idea referring to it with another well understood concept like "settings". You could call it "Personal settings" or "Personal information".

As a final note, at some point this gets very specific to a business and you'd need to test with actual users to be sure.

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You could alternatively use "Profile" if the only concern is wording. In this example, one profile may have multiple accounts.

You could also have the menu display each of the account names. This should make the difference of "Profile" and "Account" more apparent.

Profile and Accounts

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