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We have a somewhat complex B2B app. If a user is idle for some time, they are auto-logged out and brought to the login screen. If they log back in, would the ideal behavior be to bring them to the homepage or to the page they were on before the logout?

Thoughts:

  • If the logout is intentional, it seems obvious to me that they should be returned to the homepage. But it's my gut-reaction that if they time-out they should be returned to the page they were on before the logout? This would avoid the confusion of navigating back to where they were and remove friction to resume their activities? I don't know, what do you think?

2 Answers 2

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When a user is logged out passively, they should be returned to the page they were on before logging out. This is because the previous session was interrupted and needs to be resumed.

If the user logs out actively, it means they want to end the current session. They can log in again to start a new session from the homepage.

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I think it's great that you are already in the headspace of offering scenario-based options, where others might ask to choose either A or B. Resuming the user's previous activity is helpful when they have 20+ filters, 50 paginations, or fumbling with some very nested UIs, starting from scratch could throw them a panic. However, it's important to get technical constraints checked, as it might not be easy or feasible. In those cases, returning to the home screen is fine, as long as there are other complementary solutions like quick access to saved filters and views, and countdown timers popup (just as examples).

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