These words are often used to refer to the same thing, even though they have a bit different meaning: User, Profile, Account, Login.

When researching I found an article called Monday Back to Basics: Accounts vs Profiles on Google Analytics blogspot. After reading this confused me even more. The thing that the article considers as profiles I always thought of as roles.

When should I use which? What are the differences between these terms?

2 Answers 2


There are differents meanings on this words. It deeply depends on your context.

Commonly : - user is the person who use - profile is a view of the user (and/or user activity) who can sometimes have differents profiles - login is the precise field which allows to connect to the service - account is usually a representation of user in your system

But... to know which one you should use, this depends on your context. You can choose the words you think the better and try if your users understands it well.


in my current project we decided to avoid the term "Profile" and provide the sentence "MyApplication". The log-in and register buttons are in a different place and with different UI. Our goal is push the new user to register himself and make prominent the "my" section for the registered users.

navigation section and service navigation section

  • Any reasons why did you decide to avoid using the term "Profile"? Is it too unclear or unknown to the users, or what was your motivation to do so? Dec 11, 2014 at 12:58
  • We decided to use the "myRicardo" label to make the link more friendly. Our goal is push the users to use the dashboard so we can stay in touch with them for any topics. This section is dynamic and in my opinion the profile is more or less like a resume, more static at the end. Dec 11, 2014 at 13:54

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