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In one of the mail notification I have seen a message like "Please login with your AD credential". For a technical user we know what is AD and what is AD credential. But what about non-technical users. How should we convey the same meaning in different phrase.

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    I had to google what AD credentials were...and I'm a dev. I use a lot of TLAs in my job, which makes it easy to get them mixed up. – zzzzBov Nov 2 '15 at 15:57
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    @zzzzBov I had to google what a TLA means, right after having googled what AD credential means. And I am a dev who actually developed a SSO system based on AD credentials. – Pavel Nov 2 '15 at 16:52
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    I dont know what is TLAs . have to google . Thanks @zzzzBov for the new term – iDroid Nov 2 '15 at 17:00
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    @PavelPetrman I had to google what AD Credentials where... then I had to google TLA, and now I have to Google SSO. We need to be more WYSIWYG. – Reinstate Monica Nov 2 '15 at 17:33
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    I'll save everybody else from googling: Active Directory credential, Three Letter Acronym, Single Sign-On, What You See Is What You Get. Now let's get back to work, shall we? – isanae Nov 2 '15 at 19:57
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The reason no one knows what an "AD credential" is (unlike, say, a Google account), is that AD is not anything in its own right (to end users). It's just an implementation of a log in that is used for something user facing.

You should tell the user to log in to whatever the user-facing thing is.

e.g. "Use your standard work log-in". Or whatever fits your case.

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    This makes more sense to me. – iDroid Nov 2 '15 at 15:13
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I usually say: "the username and password you use to log on your PC". Regular users dont know what AD is, And they dont want to know.

  • If so one another question at this context, If the user doesn't have a individual machine by means that he rarely access the machine (literally any machine that is available at the moment ) but owns an account. In this context he don't have his PC and we are not mentioning that, he should use the credential provided by their company. My question may sound so silly, but I just look for the opinions here. – iDroid Nov 2 '15 at 14:46
  • Then you say something along the lines of: "Use the same login details as you use in/while/when <context>". So if the account is what they use when logging into theire webmail you might say: "Use the same account as you use on your webmail". It's about context and what interfaces and services they know. Active directory is just a cog in a larger machine, for end users it's not important to know how it works, just how to use your interface. So adding too much technical details makes them more confused. – Olavxxx Nov 2 '15 at 15:29
  • Point taken. But I feel the answer given by @dan1111 is much more elegant and straight to my needs. You were close enough but that gave me couple of questions. So I preferred his answer. – iDroid Nov 2 '15 at 15:35
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    This is what we say. Usually the phrase is "Windows password" but this happens too. – corsiKa Nov 2 '15 at 18:29
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I think this is something that is mostly a question of internal procedures. At the university where I work they refer to it using terms like "central services username and password" but that is because we use the same login name and password for most centrally provided services. On a site where all the machines are "managed" and everyone uses their AD credentials to login to their computers, terms like "windows password" may be appropriate but on sites with lots of unmanaged machines where users commonly log in to their local machine with local credentials that could be more confusing than helpfull. Sites that have been running windows for a long time may use terms like "domain username and password".

The important thing is to find out what the existing procedures are at a site and stick to them. If you are writing software that is intended to be deployed in multiple locations then IMO you need to make such messages customisable so the local admins can set them up to reflect local conventions.

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