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During the signup flow of our service, we ask the user for their phone number and primary email address. We don't show those in their user profile. User can call each other only after they have matched.

We are now considering the possibility of showing the company the user work for in their profile. For that, the user would have to either:

  • Select their company from a list (can have an auto-complete text field for fast search); or
  • Enter their email address (and then we do the work of linking the domain name to the company)

Asking for the company name is:

  • (-) Harder to implement on the client apps (listing + autocomplete + keeping the company db up-to-date)
  • (-) Harder to later add some kind of verification to make sure the user actually work for that company (not a problem/requirement right now)
  • (+) Less privacy invasive: the user doesn't share his email address with us
  • (+) Better UX: Faster to enter/search for the company name than to type full email address

Do you see any other trade-offs? How would you go about asking for the company name and/or email address?

  • Though introspection is the lowest form of getting design decisions, ask yourself "Would you give your company name and/or email address for validation?" Why do you need to validate your users? – locationunknown Jan 27 at 10:01
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I think this depends on the product.

Are there extra values that a user will get by verifying their company?

If yes, limit the company selection to an input field (where they enter it themselves) - this will not allow them to attain the full benefit of verification but it will make them do some work upfront that is less tech on your end.

Then you can ask them to enter their work email address (optional)

I do not think to ask for work email is automatically invading on privacy, it all depends on the value users will get out if and how well you communicate your intent, companies like Airbnb, Invision e.t.c already do this.

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