I have a website which is a business listings directory. Users can register and optionally create listings. So for example:

  • User: Joe Bloggs
  • Listing 1: ABC Construction Ltd
  • Listing 2: XYZ Catering Ltd

The new feature I am developing is a messaging inbox system, which basically allows users to send messages to businesses.

Now suppose Joe Bloggs wants to send a message to another business (Star Construction Ltd). Would it make sense for the message to come FROM Joe Bloggs, or should he be able to choose (from a dropdown) the FROM name, i.e. ABC Construction Ltd?


2 Answers 2


Does it make sense to me? Yes. But I'm not your target audience. The question is does it make sense to Joe Bloggs and the recipient at ABC Construction LTD?

Since this is a trivial undertaking (technologically), and there is little cognitive load added to Joe Bloggs ("should I or should I not select a company from the drop-down list") then it makes sense to add it.

ON THE OTHER HAND if your users are not truly comfortable with computers and interfaces it may be a burden. I don't know your users. I hope that you do.


Why cant you just keep it simple and send it as a combination of both the name and the business like Joe Bloggs (ABC Construction Ltd).

This helps establish the personal connection of who is doing the messaging and also helps establish the authenticity of where the email is coming from (from which business)

  • Yes I agree, that makes sense. My question was more about whether the user should have to select the company name from a dropdown menu (if they have multiple companies). In which case it introduces an additional step to the process.
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 20:39

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