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I am maintaining the server implementation of a website. The site allows usernames and email address as username.

This is how the login screen looks where the user is asked to select if the user is typing in a username or an email address.

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I think this is useless as I can very easily determine (javascript or java code on server)if the user is typing in an email address.

One train of thought makes this login appear alright.

Another makes it appear silly.

What would be the best way to implement a login screen where the user could either select a username or an email address ?

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Not asked, but whatever you do make sure you can always log in with a username. This to avoid confusion where your 'user name' is "user@old_email.org" and your current working email address is "user@new_email.net". Some sites fail this causing quite some confusion for people who do not write everything down. –  Hennes Dec 20 '13 at 5:33
    
@Hennes ...which also means that it's necessary to be able to change the username, and users need to be identified internally by some other key (like a number). ["If you use an email address to create your account, we will always use it to contact you. You can change the address associated with your account at any time."] –  Andrew Leach Dec 20 '13 at 6:28

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The goal is to make login as simple as possible for the user. Simply have two fields - one that allows them to enter either their username OR email address (labeled accordingly) and the other field for their password.

Simple login

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There is no way to distinguish user name from email if I can enter user name identical to the email.

Then there are sites forbidding me from entering my email as user name by forbidding characters e.g. such as "@".

These sites are evil because they force me to invent a user name that is not taken and that I can remember as if password is not enough. At least I can take a nice password without worry it was taken. Then if I forget my username, I need to recover it too like password?

The less evil sites at least let me enter my Email as username. At least this is the one I can remember.

In my view, Usernames must die!

The best thing you can do for your users is to let them sign with Email only. Simple and clean.

There is too much mess from Usernames with no clear advantage over Email - here is my more detailed answer on the subject

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Heh. I got the opposite idea. email as username must die. Especially on sites which accept the username the first time, and the next time complain that it is not valid (e.g. vmware and hennes+vmware@....), thus forcing you to create a new account every time you need to log in. –  Hennes Dec 20 '13 at 17:42
    
@Hennes Have you checked my link where I listed many arguments? Please list your arguments and I will be happy to discuss. –  Dmitri Zaitsev Dec 21 '13 at 1:33

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