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I would like to make a page that covers creating a user account / signing into a user account.

I have researched this before and found out that sign in / out / up is generally a better term to use in comparison to log in / create account.

The thing is, my page covers both the signing in and up part and this is a bit confusing and I am not sure what the best way to word this would be...

I thought to call it "Account" as when you have signed in, in my mind this button would turn into an "Account" button where you would access your account profile, if that makes sense... So I could just call it "Account" and in order to get to your account you run through the sign in / up process... Do you think that people would understand that?

I believe in the K.I.S.S. principal a great deal as I have found that in the real world... People in general (at least in my specific market) are not very technologically literate and struggle enough with just using the internet let alone having to navigate customized websites with of the different terminology that we make use of. So essentially, I am trying to minimize the burden that a new comer may face.

  • Just to clarify - when you ask what to "call the page", what do you mean? As in, what you call it in your map of the site? Or the URL? or the H1 tag? or the anchor text of links to the page? – dennislees Nov 2 '14 at 2:19
  • @dennislees I meant the actual name of the page in the link for user reference. I believe that Roger has done well to explain this though. You do however present a very valid point, thanks for enforcing the clear up! – Craig van Tonder Nov 3 '14 at 6:57
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I quite like what Amazon do.

They combine the Your Account button with a secondary text above it: Hello. Sign in:

enter image description here

Then when you go to click, there's a popup menu giving the option to sign in or if you're a new customer to start here. The popup also gives you a chance to see what other features are available! But once you've logged in the Your Account stays in the same place and the secondary text changes to say Hello Roger - or whatever your name is.

So the constant here is the Your Account label - but combined with a very useful secondary text either prompting a sign-in or recognizing that you are already signed in.

It makes sense, since the sub phrase Your Account doesn't have to mean an account you already have, but could refer to an account that you could have - if you want.

enter image description here        enter image description here

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While I agree with @Roger-Attrill that Amazon's solution to this is nice, if your market is actually technology illiterate, you may need another approach.

Interview your potential users and understand what words they associate with these actions. Do they associate "signing up" with "creating an account"? Does the metaphor of an account or sign-up make sense to them? Do they know how drop-downs like those used by Amazon work, or would that be too confusing?

Potentially, you will find that it is a bad idea to obscure functionality from those that aren't familiar with now common layout patterns. These functions may need to stay separate buttons to be most friendly to your audience. Interview them to find out.

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First, please see this answer to the question "What is the difference among “Sign up”, “Sign in” and “Log in”?":

While Hellion describes those terms in general, I am writing here in the context of the cyberworld that also includes the gadgets. You mentioned log-in and that's what makes me think that you probably want to know the difference in the context of Internet.

Well, sign up simply means to register. It could be portal, newsletter or things the like. So when you visit and access anything for the first time, you need to sign up. Often, this is referred to as register. For instance, if you are new to Twitter, you need to sign up first.

What is interesting is sign in and log in. Well, both mean same that you enter somewhere where you are already registered. The web portals use both the terms. Facebook, ELL and COCA calls it Log in, whereas Google, Twitter, Bank of America and LinkedIn uses Sign in.

Note that all these portals use sign up for the process of first time registration and not log up.

Basically, you need a name for a page with "Register" and "Login". The two processes are different, so you can use one of the two names or you can use the term for the result or the category of these actions, like "Settings", "Account", "Profile", "User", "Member".

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