What is generally recognised as the best way to handle a welcome message for a user whose username may not be known? In my menu I have a "Welcome " title, with the user's photo but thinking defensively I need some default text in case their user name is not in the system or some error happens and it is an empty string. I cannot have simply "Welcome " as the spaces will look odd. Same for centering the text (but that may be the best option).

Is there some alternative text I could use? "Welcome User" seems too impersonal and will break the user's experience I feel.


I think "Welcome" is the best message if you don't know their name.

It is exactly what a human would say in the same situation.

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Another approach to this is to simply use the word "Anonymous". I like the other suggestions; however, if you were to simply pass "Welcome to !" this could appear to a user that something in your code is broken.

I would consider something like "Welcome Anonymous_User!" or simply "Welcome Anonymous!"

Another option, assuming you have some type of authentication in which a user must log in, somewhere in your code. If you have other database records for that user, simply call another record such as user.first_name or user.get_full_name() Just my thoughts anyway.

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  • I'd love to vote you up but my rep is not yet high enough. Thanks for your thoughts, worth considering. – VictorySaber Mar 18 '14 at 8:29

I like @Renaud's suggestion. I would also consider "Welcome to !" depending on the tone of voice you are using. Depending on the username format you are using, it's worth considering whether it's appropriate to use the username ("Welcome jk0122321!") or whether just a generic "Welcome to !" is more appropriate.

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