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I click a button called "Login" and a popup appears to login. I fill in my information and I accidentally click outside the div, should the information be remembered when I click "Login" again? Or, do users not do this and want the information to clear on the click of "Login"?

For example, on Udemy, if you click on "Login", the input fields are cleared.

However, on Twitter, if you click "Log In", the information is saved in the input fields.

From a UX and user point of view, which of these points make more sense?

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I would rather like to go with somewhat restrictive approach. If you have login popup which disappears on outside click & user accidentally clicks outside, then user will have to click on login button again to see login popup again which I think is a bad UX as we are making user to repeat same steps unnecessarily.

Instead of that, if you have a login popup which will get closed only when user tells explicitly to close(by clicking on close button). Then the login popup will always be visible even if he clicks outside accidentally. The only way to close popup now is to either click on close button or do login with valid credentials. Both actions are user actions & user is fully aware of the actions he is taking.

About clearing of input fields, I think its always better not to store user sensitive information for longer time. In the approach mentioned above I will prefer to display empty input boxes. You can preserve value of username field but for password I would suggest to display empty input box always.

  • I agree with this approach of clearing password, but not for your reasons - if the password is right, the user already revealed their sensitive information to whomever might (mis)use it, regardless of how much you clear the field afterwards (assuming you don't actually store it, just don't tell browser to clear the field). But if they click on the close button after entering a password, it is more likely the password was wrong (they did not log in), so no point in storing that information. – Aprillion Apr 17 '16 at 11:16
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From a UX point of view I would instinctively go for the Twitter approach. However, taking a closer look, considering security concerns I would definitely vote for clearing the login fields.

If a user clicks next to the modal window, this can considered a mistake – an error has occurred. In that sense clearing the login fields could be considered a feedback: by clearing the login fields the user is told that an error has occurred. So from that perspective clearing the login fields could also be considered UX.

  • You lost me at 'price you have to pay' - it's definitely not good UX ever to set the user back due to a mistake they made – Toni Leigh Apr 15 '16 at 21:42
  • what security concerns? would you rather pretend the user did not type their username/password and are already in the hands of the app/browser/man-in-the-middle regardless of how empty the fields are next? – Aprillion Apr 17 '16 at 11:09
  • Concerning the security concerns: there are situations when people use computers that are not theirs. Any login information visible to somebody else is a security risk. Imagine somebody entering his/her correct login details, then missing the "submit" button, then leaving because "it doesn't work". The next person could then just log in to their account… – tillinberlin Apr 18 '16 at 9:04
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There are always competing principles at work when deciding which are important to apply and when in UX. We want to make sure we reduce the amount of effort required to obtain the benefit (whatever the end goal is gained by logging in) but also balance other concerns, like security. Consider meeting in the middle of convenience and security; save the email address/user name but not the password.

  • I do not consider this a good answer when using "security" as a scarecrow to restrict features that are considered useful otherwise, without spelling out the actual security reasons. I don't see how security is improved by clearing the password field during one session - there is not actual password "saving" involved, just not telling the browser to clear the field. – Aprillion Apr 17 '16 at 11:29

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