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I'm working on a web application where I also need to code a user registration/login feature.

I'm in the process of working on the user-side of the system (in other words, what the user sees after the log in is done), and I was wondering, in terms of the URL of the user area, what is the better option, UX-wise:

  1. Redirect users to domain.com/feed where they can see their latest updates etc, and also access other users-only areas (for example domain.com/messages).
  2. Redirect users to the homepage, which will detect the user is currently logged on, and display the 'feed' (for example) as the homepage instead of the usual marketing front page displayed to visitors who haven't logged in yet. A few examples are facebook, trello, twitter...

I'm assuming the 'better' option would be the second one, since it allows the user to see what is most important (probably) to them faster, and without the need to enter a specific URL. With that being said, I have no UX experience/knowledge, and would like another input on the matter.

  • Can you give us a little more details on what's on the homepage? Is it just a log in form? – Majo0od Aug 18 '16 at 16:56
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I would agree with the user testing suggestion above, but you might also have some pretty good idea of what your users want to do when they come to your site - if they have to log in, there must be some clear actions they will want to take once there.

Your job is to make it as easy as possible for them to accomplish the tasks they want to accomplish, so after they have logged in, put them on the screen that will allow them to accomplish the most. Many sites do put the user back on the home page, but in a logged in state that shows them content more relevant to them. This might work for you as well, but it all depends on your site and users.

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    YES!!! Content over everything! Give the user access to the content they want the most that is only available when logged in. Otherwise, why bother logging in at all? – Shmoken Aug 19 '16 at 19:16
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Design it how you think is the better way in terms of security and convinience.

How the URL will be handled doesn't impact the usability or the user experience that much. The content of the application is much more important. Most of the time users focus on the contents of the site, not the url.

You should start making user tests and interview target demographic to see what people want to see on your feed/app. Check how they complete certain processes - where they experience difficulties and what they like, they don't like, etc.

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Looking at how sites like Quora work, I guess a single page application which contains everything in single page is better option. I suggest redirection when it makes sense to have shareable URLs like in case of a blog or a news website.

The question you need to ask yourself is, if the user maintains the session like many people do in case of gmail, or social platforms, will you redirect them to appropriate page when they try to open the website again?

Keeping everything in a single page and selectively updating the page gives a feel of a portal or a web application and not just web page. So unless your users want to navigate to specific sub sections of your site like feed or messages; a single page, single URL approach should suffice and provide a more unifying user experience.

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Redirection is bad, in that you are deciding on behalf of the user, usually an adult that would prefer to take her own decisions.
Ideally you let the users go to where they want to go.
If one of those places your user wants to see requires them to be logged in, then you make her go thru the login form before granting access to her target page.

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