On an information-centric website that also has content only accessible for logged-in users, what should happen after the user logs out? I see two possibilities:

  • Redirect to / stay on the page the user was when the logout button was clicked

  • Redirect to the home page

The first option may result in a 403 error if the user was on a page that is not publicly accessible, such as the account settings. We could redirect them to the home page in that case, but it would be inconsistent then.

4 Answers 4


You need to inform the user that there action was successful, which is more important than on which page that happens. Hopefully you have a global control on every page that allows users to log out from any page. When the user have successfully logged out, you could inform them in a modal dialogue that they are successfully logged out. That's their main concern in this state.

enter image description here


There are several good solutions to this but each good solution must

  1. Clearly inform the user that he has been logged out.
  2. Afford him the ability to log back in.
  3. Navigate to other areas of the site.

Whether the user is to be redirected to the home page; a page which allows users to navigate to other areas( example: the apple 404 page ); the current page (assuming not in a password protected area) or simply a "goodbye" page will depend on what's most appropriate for your industry/site users.


When I log out from gmail it is usually to log in to a different work account.

I think most people expect log out to go to a place where they can clearly see that nobody is logged in anymore and how to log back in especially if logging out was a mistake (think undo)

Consider a page that does nothing else but log in to the system. If the user logs out or times out due to inactivity they should end up on this page. The login page can easily remember where the user last was in cases of a timeout and take the user back where he left off but a good navigation on the home page should really make this sort of redirecting unnecessary.


Where possible definitely the first I would say.

The user pressed log out; the action they requested was only to log out, not to go to a different page. Logging in/out and going to different pages is a fairly common problem I encounter online.

As you say though it might not be a publicly accessible page. On such systems then you have to send them somewhere and home is the sensible generic option. As others have said though depending on the system (a bank for instance) a simple goodbye page could be good too.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.