When someone is not registered (or someone needs not to be, if it is not web app) on a site, then the contact form usually has 3 fields:

  • name
  • sender e-mail
  • message body

When the user gets registered, is it a better user experience to follow a different scheme than the one shown above?

I am talking specifically about the case where a user wants to contact the administrators and not other users of the web/app.


If the user has registered and logged in then you will already know who they are. But they may want to quote a different email address from the one they registered with.

So you could keep much the same look and feel for registered users by using the same three pieces of data but presenting them slightly differently:

  • name (either on the form itself, or in a disabled text field)
  • sender email address (filled in in a text field, ready to be changed if necessary)
  • message body

You should also have a method of signalling "I'm someone else" which would log out the logged-in user and revert to the unregistered form.

A refinement would be to have a further option (probably hidden until needed) to signal that the registered email address should be changed to the email address actually used in the form.


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  • i would prefill both fields if you have them, of course, a user might not bother to fill a 'name' field in if they aren't forced to, either at registration or contact – Toni Leigh Jul 15 '13 at 18:10
  • You can only display what you know. There's no point in disabling a blank field! – Andrew Leach Jul 15 '13 at 18:12
  • i wouldn't disable the name field, just leave it blank if there was no name in the database for this user – Toni Leigh Jul 15 '13 at 18:13
  • @Colin I think you and I are saying the same thing. – Andrew Leach Jul 15 '13 at 18:18
  • Is there a site example out there that uses the above scheme-I want to see a live example. The other comments are to the point too. – Dimitris Papageorgiou Jul 16 '13 at 18:29

If the user is already registered, I'm assuming you have at least their email address. Do you need the user's name to reply?

It's unlikely that the user would want to send a message through a different email, however to cover all your bases, you could have a "send with different email" as Andrew suggested.

At least this way, it will utilize the information you already have from your user without making them repeat the information again.

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  • +1 but show the e-mail on file. It may be outdated without the user realising that. (auto-login and/or login by username instead of e-mail) – Marjan Venema Jul 15 '13 at 19:28
  • what do you mean show the "e-mail on file". – Dimitris Papageorgiou Jul 16 '13 at 18:25
  • @DimitrisPapageorgiou "Show the email address which you hold 'on file'" meaning "in your records". – Andrew Leach Jul 17 '13 at 17:17

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