We are using "login" but I don't like that b/c it has a lot meanings:

  • Verb (the act of logging in)
  • Noun : their login ID ("what's my login"), ID and password (what's my login) their entire account ("my login was deleted")

so I want to use Account, Account ID, Account Password.

But maybe Account isn't "human" enough.


5 Answers 5


I would argue there are 3 options here for you:

  1. Use the term account. It is a conventional term and, being somewhat risk adverse, always argue that is users know and understand that GUI or convention, why break from it? but I completely understand that the term "account" indicates some form of conglomerate-esque, computerized registration that may or may not be paid for. Eurgh. There are ways to get around this though by removing that perception eg. using "FREE" - see Evernote
  2. I've started to see lots of companies just use "sign in" and "sign up" removing that horrible "account" word perhaps for the disadvantages indicated in #1. Dropbox, Square, ODesk the list goes on.
  3. Finally, I guess you can improve the personification of the term "account". When you're logged in instead of "my account" say "Hi David" or similar (see Ted Baker)? Or what does the account represent? For example an ecommerce site might use the term "Sign in to see your previous orders" or if it's a control panel "Sign in to your admin area" (or control panel)

So here are some things to consider:

  • What does the "account" represent? More context needed, not just for me but for the user
  • Can you include small persuasive cues such as "Free" or "Lifetime access" that might represent the benefits of an account of the ease of signing in?
  • Can you add personality around the term "account" a la Ted Baker?
  • All else fails, "account" isn't that bad. Users know what it is and that's what matters most.

I think the term "user" may be appropriate here.

It can be coupled with whatever you need to describe and has a human element to it. Thus:

  • User Account
  • User Id
  • User Login
  • User Password

I realize it is just an additional modifier but if you want humanize the terminology this seems like a viable option.

  • 1
    can consider adding "user name" to the list.
    – Raiyan
    Feb 17, 2014 at 21:54

I quite like persons to refer to humans in the system, either users or the system or just contacts.

And actors seems to work well to refer to actual users of the system, although I don't have anything against just using the term users either.

Finally, another option is agents, which I think works for human users as well as system users, basically an alternative to using the work accounts.


It also depends on the usecase of your website.

  • Do users actively know that they need to have an account on your page, including users that don't have one yet?
  • What do users log in to on your site: Do they access a core functionality?
  • In that case you could make the link descriptive of the area that users are trying to reach: Dashboard, MyBank, E-mail.
  • Google has a similar approach (yes, in addition to the login, but same mindset):

    enter image description here


One approach that is becoming more common is to use Sign In and Sign out for the actions, and Profile for "all the stuff about this user".

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