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We have an administration tool which is a installed locally on a server and accessed through a browser with automatic log in using AD.

When the user navigates to the page, they are automatically logged in with their credentials and can use the application. However, there is no need to sign out, as they never directly logged in.

Should I just ignore this, and assume that the user will know to just close the webpage? Or should I have some kind of button that will close the page for them, thus 'logging them out'?

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Most modern browsers make it very difficult for an app to close a web-page without asking the user whether that should happen. Anyway, does it matter? They will either close the tab, the browser, or not do either and stay logged in. Is that an issue? – Andrew Leach Oct 18 '13 at 10:54
Correct me if I am wrong: if user is automatically logged in, based on SSO (you mentioned using ActiveDirectory), thus whenever s/he comes back to the page, s/he is logged in? So the only way to log out is to log out from Windows? – Dominik Oslizlo Oct 18 '13 at 11:09
That's correct, the login is tied to their AD account - so they are unable to 'logout', I am just wondering what the standard practice for this scenario would be - if it doesn't act like a web app when visiting the page, should it not act like a web app when leaving the page? – Midas Oct 18 '13 at 11:26
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Default answer is probably to ignore it. If the user has the correct mental model for not logging in they'll not be confused by not logging out.

Best answer is to do some quick research and find out if your users have that mental model. If they don't, find out what they are thinking and design your solution to help move their understanding to match the solution.

I wouldn't recommend any faux/placebo interactions that might cause the user's mental model to diverge from the reality of the solution.

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Thanks, that makes a lot of sense. – Midas Oct 18 '13 at 13:15

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