How can I encourage (or force) users to enter their full name in the "Full Name" field on sign up? I don't care how they format it, we don't need separate first name and last name in the db. But we've had problems with our customers being lazy and just writing "J" instead of "John Smith".

We need to interface with these people in real life (on the phone), so we need to know which "J" is John Smith. Also, I want to support international names, so I don't want to split up the name field or require spaces.

  • 1
    Do you explain to the user why you're asking for their full name? That would probably be my first step to improve the quality of responses.
    – Matt Obee
    Mar 22, 2017 at 16:08
  • @MattObee It's related but I think by having a separate first name field implies that you want the full first name spelt out, and maybe it is more of an issue when you only have one field that also needs to work for names in other nationalities. I do think your suggestion of explaining to the user is the best starting point though.
    – Michael Lai
    Mar 22, 2017 at 23:46

2 Answers 2


It is important to set the intent right to the users. But my take is that it is already covered in the Privacy Policy, especially about not using the personal details with other sites or selling.

A simple indication that we don't trade your info with a link to Privacy Policy can be a better way to assure users.

Now, once users are assured, asking full name is tricky. And the time and space required are insufficient on the form to explain your detailed intent. Without going into detail, an Example can be of great help to communicate what the system needs. As shown below.


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If one-letter first/last names or one-word full names are your problem, you can simply check for this when a user is done entering his/her name. If the full name doesn't meet your criteria, let the user upload a photo of an ID card to prove that it really is their real name (as people might have irregular names). You'll still have to check whether the photo matches, but it probably won't happen as often and it's certainly shorter than calling people up.

If fake names are your problem, check Getting the real name of an user as Matt mentioned in his comment.

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