I have a website where I authorize user to change the language of the website thanks to a drop-down list that he can find in the top right on every page.

By default, the language is set accordingly to the browser language.

As for now, if user changes language, it is set for the time of the current session.

The thing is, you can create an account and you can change the language of the website from there (as a setting). But, you can always change the language for the time of a session with the drop-down list, which is kind of confusing.

So, when user is logged in, what should I do? get rid of the drop-down list? or have the drop-down menu to change the user account settings?

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2 Answers 2


You said it yourself:

You can always change the language for the time of a session with the drop-down list, which is kind of confusing.

Is there a use case where users need to have that possibility to change to another language for during one session?

If not (which I suppose), the answer is easy: get rid of it. User can change their language preference in the account settings, or by using the drop down menu. In every case, the chosen settings is persisted.

I am not suggesting to remove the drop down box. Keep it. It serves its purpose towards users that are not logged in or don't have an account. But the functionality should be the same as the account settings: it should be persistent so that next time you visit the site, it's in the same language.

  • I don't think there is any use case where the user would have to change to another language for during one session (while he is logged in). The thing is: if I keep the drop-down menu but it does a different action regarding if user is logged in or not, maybe it's kind of confusing as well. So maybe the best option would be to get rid of it ; but again, the user could be used to have this drop-down menu while visiting the site at the time he wasn't a member, and not finding it anymore could confuse him.
    – alesas
    Oct 8, 2012 at 13:41
  • Great! It means you can reduce functionality. The overall product will become more usable. Oct 8, 2012 at 13:43
  • Bart, I edited my previous comment, adding some thoughts.
    – alesas
    Oct 8, 2012 at 13:45
  • I guess just leaving out the drop down box would be a bad choice for users that don't have an account, or that are not logged in. For those users the drop down has a function, but I think it should still be persistent (i.e. via cookies or whatever). Oct 8, 2012 at 13:48
  • Ok so the idea would be to get rid of the drop-down menu when you are logged in. Thx.
    – alesas
    Oct 8, 2012 at 13:51

Your site must be having an home/welcome screen for an logged in user, now when the user changes the language why don't you direct him to welcome screen, but if he is trying to edit his profile and changes language while doing so, prompt him for unchanged fields if auto save is not provided.

By the way majority of users will select the language before at login screen itself(I do the same and have seen many do it this way).

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