I am working on a project with a financial company. They require a user to create a financial account and then create an online account. Currently, they are both referenced as "Account". The issue I have is that it seems confusing to me to have two account types on the site.

So one of these would have to be changed to something else to make better sense.

Users can have more than one "financial account" tied to their "online account" so I am thinking the online account name should be considered "My account" since I believe most users would think in that pattern.

I would change the Account meant for financial accounts to something else but I am not sure what makes sense.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts that could help.

  • That's a confusing thing for a company to do when it's their own software.. Requiring users to make two accounts before using the system is very unusual. If it's necessary, then the creation of one of the accounts should be part of the flow for creating the other type and reuse all the necessary information.
    – mowwwalker
    Feb 21, 2019 at 16:12
  • I agree but unfortunately that is the hand I am dealt at the moment for business limitations. Ideally, I would have one account creation process and have users add financial assets to that account. Feb 21, 2019 at 16:40
  • 1
    You're possibly overthinking this. My experience with a couple of UK banks is that you have an "Online Account", and when you login to that, you are presented with a list of your (financial) accounts (current/savings/credit-card etc.). I've never felt this confusing, and -- presumably -- neither do too many of their other customers.
    – TripeHound
    Feb 22, 2019 at 11:00

5 Answers 5


In the past when I have been presented with this as a "must have" opted to have it as chunked information. What I did was offer an account icon that if not logged in defaulted you to a login page. Once logged in that account icon summoned a dropdown with all of my account navigation options found under it along with a greeting and a logout. So basically...

State 1: Not Logged In.

  • Account icon that links to the login/registration page.

State 2: Logged In.

  • Account icon that summons an account navigation dropdown/flyout/etc
  • Account dropdown/flyout/etc. that contains a greeting, nav links and a signout option.

I'm not sure if I understand correctly. Is it just a wording problem or does the user have to log in to a financial account to? This would be rather strange. If you mean online account is just the login to manage the financial accounts, this would make sense to me.

Then the question is why you would have to name the online account as such. Couldn't it just be "login" and "profile" or similar?

  • Users only have to log-in to one account, the "online account" this way they get access to all of the financial accounts they have created. I wasn't sure that changing the online account to "profile" would be sufficient but maybe that is a good option Feb 21, 2019 at 18:01

Maybe you could rename the online account "My Account" to "Profile".

  • 4
    What is your reasoning behind this answer? Jul 22, 2019 at 8:39
  • 3
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    – UIO
    Jul 22, 2019 at 9:01

If i conclude correctly:

Account Online is overriding relative to Finance Account.

If this is the case, I don't see any sense in the flow:

Creating Finance account, then creating Account Online

  • Depending on the specifics and details, I see many interesting cases here:

  • Maybe a financial account should be created automatically when you
    set up Account Online

  • I think it's worth introducing common names

  • Does the financial account have the same data as the online account? For example, can an online account be an institution and financial
    accounts be employees? (It is worth analyzing in the context of data inheritance)

  • As for the interface, it is worth using a dropdown to change
    financial accounts.

  • As research, you can use the relationship of bank accounts to one
    bank account (structure, aesthetics, interactions)


This is a simple microcopy issue. We really just need to provide clear terms that aren't confusing.

For the "online account", you could call it "Identity" or "User".

The "financial account" would be "Account", but possibly "Bank Account" or something to avoid confusion.

I'm assuming all sorts of things about the language being English, but I'm sure these terms have reasonably similar terms in other languages.

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