We have two services with logins on a page. Should we consider having a single login box which asks users to select which service they want to log in to before hitting the login button rather than two action boxes? The project team think this will free up some space and visually look better.

The original proposal was to have a colour distinction between the services based on their branding/activity.

  • 1
    What is the relationship between those 2 services? If they are related it makes sense to go for one login (maybe even without any choice at all), if there is no relation between them, you may want to stick with 2 separate login pages. May 15, 2013 at 8:48
  • one to manage an authentication system (larger audience) and the other to access data (specialised audience within the same market segmentation), effectively they are under the same umbrella but are 2 different activities.
    – Ros
    May 15, 2013 at 10:02

5 Answers 5


You could alway go the google route, one login to rule them all, have a default service (the one your users have a more than 50% chance that it's the one they are looking for) and then from that service they can navigate to the alternate and vice-versa.

  • That's a very good solution for a classic problem... May 16, 2013 at 12:47

Choosing the service when logging is a bad idea. The login page is just a step in the process of using an application. It does not make sense to choose the service when logging since when going to the appropriate page the choice has already been made.

Use two login pages with one logging (SSO if needed).

Ask her to log once and when she goes to the other service (link, url...) with the same device she is already connected.

You may want to to something like that before the login page:

enter image description here

  • they have already chosen their segment page - both logins make sense on the segment landing page
    – Ros
    May 15, 2013 at 10:06
  • 2
    You segment first and then you show the login page. May 15, 2013 at 10:17

Both otpions have been mentioned before, what's missing is the if:

If they use the same credentials, one login for both.
Otherwise make it two separate pages.

Barring significant differences in cost: if both products have the same branding, go with one login.

Unless there's virtually no overlap between the two user bases, a second login is just a hassle. If they are under the same brand, it feels like the brand is hassling them, personally, for being power users. Besides, most of the users would use the same credentials anyway.


I cant think of something off the top of my head of a site which provides a common login for two different services but Winzip allows the user to choose either the classic or Wizard interface while installing so its not something thats super uncommon

enter image description here

That said, clearly call out the difference between the two services and ensure users can switch between the two services as needed.\

An alternate option would be to allow users to just sign up but inform them that they can use both the services with the same login details similar to how Google does it as shown below

enter image description here

  • I am not sure if the 2 services exclude each other. If they don't, the comparison with Winzip is not correct. Now it just far fetched imo ;) May 15, 2013 at 9:31
  • point taken, but if the two services do have something in similar, the Google approach would be the way to go since you can allow users to access similar services with one simple login
    – Mervin
    May 15, 2013 at 10:23
  • They need to log in seperately once they have chosen the service they want to access
    – Ros
    May 15, 2013 at 10:30
  • But why do they have to log in after they choose the service, why cant you login and then ask them to choose the service
    – Mervin
    May 15, 2013 at 10:33
  • each service uses the same credential for login, but they need to select the service to direct themselves to the activity they want. The system doesn't support a single login to access multiple services in the same session.
    – Ros
    May 15, 2013 at 12:42

It sounds like:

  • you're working within an architecture that limits functional changes, such as SSO > system direct to appropriate service;
  • having two separate pages (one for each service) isn't up for discussion; and
  • that the user has one set of credentials that works for both

So if the question is should you allow log in for two services in one space to free up space visually, then that really depends on if freeing up space is important.

I think two separate logins (example below) on one page is a lot to handle. enter image description here

Some sites treat log in and sign up in this manner. In this example, you rely on the user to parse very similar information in a quick way.

Combining the log ins into one space can make a lot of sense visually, but I might avoid a drop down.

This method isn't one I see very often anymore and somewhat complicates the process. and I prefer to keep the log in as focused as possible (tasks: choose first before entering information > only show log in fields > enter information > log in)

So, I might provide a tab/toggle structure instead: enter image description here

Ultimately though, if you can move in the direction of one login, with a SSO, I would try that.

Hope this is helpful.

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