15

We are designing a new login screen for an enterprise app.

If the username is the same as the user's email address registered with the system, would it be clearer to the user to call the field on the login screen Email or better to call the field still Username?

  • 5
    Agree with most use email only. But don't forget to be able to modify user email, and to be able to change email without access to old email (like someone leaving a company) – ColdCat Jun 15 '15 at 21:32
  • It also depends on what other systems do with the same login - i an enterprise though I would expect a single sign on system to be used – user151019 Jun 16 '15 at 11:09
  • Just look on how the big apps such as Twitter handle this. They allow both username and email for login and they just write "Username or Email" in their ligin box. It will be clear to the user that it's also ok when the Username and Mail are the same – BlueWizard Jun 24 '15 at 9:53
39

If the users use the email address to log in into your application, you shouldn't use the word "Username" at all, in any place of your application.

In the registration page, they should fill out the "Email" (with a help message to inform they that it will be used to login) and there shouldn't be any "Username" field.

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    Agreed, however email should be spelled without a hyphen. That's a dated spelling. – devios1 Jun 15 '15 at 20:36
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    Good point @devios. I made this research a long time ago and got to the conclusion that "e-mail" is better, but I made it again right now and just changed my mind. Edited the answer to reflect it. – Dinei Jun 15 '15 at 20:48
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    Consider that scenario: users are allowed to optionally get a username. In this case allow they to use the username instead of the email in the log-in. Also, Facebook, that allows it, don't shows "username" in the field, it simply works. In the case if you remember the username, it's a lot easier than typing that "@email-provider.tld" thing. – Gustavo Rodrigues Jun 16 '15 at 12:20
  • I agree @GustavoRodrigues, the best approach is to allow the users to use what they want to use. Gmail allows it too. But if you want to use it, you need to show clearly to the user that they could use whatever he wants to. In the login form, for example, the username field should have a label like "Username/Email". Maybe I should edit the answer and add this point too...? – Dinei Jun 16 '15 at 15:22
11

Use email

Email provides a clearer prompt to the user around what the field is, and how to remember the value.

A simple thought experiment illustrates this. Let's take a common situation:

  • You visit a site which you haven't been to for a while.
  • You are presented with one of these login forms:

username vs email login form

  • Common scenario: you don't remember your username or your password

    • In this case, Form B is better because at least it gives you clear information on what your username would have been.
    • With Form A, some users may not realize that their username was an email address at all.
  • Common scenario: you don't remember whether you signed up

    • In this case, Form B is still better because it asks for a knowable piece of information (your email address) which can be used to verify whether you have an account or not.

This is why sites (Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, etc) which use email address as a login credential generally ask for the email address rather than username.

3

Use the terms "Login" and "Password", and add a hint to the login field stating it can be "username or email".

If you for example check this german real estate site, they have one field for everything (location, city, zip, street, some id) with a hint explaining it: http://www.immobilienscout24.de/

  • Nice interpretation! [PLUS ONE] – GingerHead Jun 16 '15 at 14:02
1

Email would be clearer IMHO, and spare users from typing corporate usernames or other account credentials they use - less prone to errors with little downsides.

Downsides include what happens when use changes his/her email address. Even if it is not a feature in the system, it will happen. People get married and divorced, change genders and their names.

And if it is security-critical, emails can be guessed or mine ls automatically slightly better than user names.

1

Each option has advantages, however I think email is much better.

Username: generally shorter

Email: harder to forget, users are used to entering their email

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