The application requires a person to login to the system. When logged in, there will be an icon on the top right of the header which will have a context menu.

Now I've decided it to look in the following way.


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Is it mandatory to show the user name next to the icon? If so, could any one explain me the rational in it?

  • 1
    The same icon for all users, or the user's avatar? And if the latter, do all users have an avatar? Sep 27, 2017 at 8:12

3 Answers 3


Is it mandatory?


Could it help the user?


Many users don't use "real" nicknames when registering, so its not like everyone is using the same nickname on every service and remembers his own nickname.

Also you have people that register multiple accounts, so it would make it easier for them to distinguish between them.

Last but not least, showing the nickname can add personal value if you combine it with greetings etc.

For example instead of just showing the nickname in front of the image you could add a "Good morning Imesh" etc. of course this could be a bit tricky.

But as i said, its definitely not mandatory, you can save a lot of visual real estate by not displaying the nickname, the worst that happens is that the user clicks on the profile image/arrow and finds his nickname there.

Youtube does not show nicknames, Dropbox does not show nicknames etc.


Depends on the type of target users -

Facebook has all types of users (tech savy, non-technical) so they display the name along with user icon.

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While the majority of Twitter users are tech savy so they don't feel the need.

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Responding to Hanky Panky's comment -

Twitter is also somewhat more popular among the highly educated: 29% of internet users with college degrees use Twitter, compared with 20% of those with high school degrees or less. http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/

In the United States, almost 50% of all Twitter users are younger than 50. Research conducted by the Pew Research Centre in 2015 shows that male Twitter users slightly outnumber female. In Australia, data suggests usage is evenly spread across genders. Twitter users tend to have at least some post-school education, live in urban areas and earn above average incomes.

There are more than 2.9 million Twitter accounts in Australia. A 2016 Sensis social media report found that about 19% of Australian internet users used Twitter, compared with 95% who used Facebook - the most dominant social networking service. https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/marketing-sales/marketing-promotion/online-marketing/twitter/who

  • While the majority of Twitter users are tech savy so they don't feel the need. Any data to support this statement? Sep 27, 2017 at 8:28

The idea is to notify the user about the fact that he/she is logged into the application. This could be done in many different ways and there isn't a written rule for it.

The rule of thumb is to have some textual or visual indication that traditionally replaces the Login/Sign Up link present.

Here are some examples for icon-only sites:

  • Google only shows the user avatar/image.
  • StackExchange sites show the user icon and the rep

It all depends on how much screen real estate you have. Sites that don't show the name generally show the customized avatar or the initials to make sure the user is aware of who exactly is logged in

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