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I am working on a financial product. Re designing the dashboard/summary page also including the top menu, so I have some doubts if should I put the "Sign up" or "Log out" button at the right corner on the top menu? At the moment we are putting this button under "my account" and the user can find the button on the submenu, so is "hidden".

Paypal has the Sign up button at the right top corner, also for example in my personal bank account they also put this button visible. I think is a good practice but I don't know why, can you please if you know explain me the reason.

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Financial services products should always have security as their #1 priority. Always make Log Out, Sign In, and Sign Up buttons visible to effectively move users in and out of the secure sections of the site/app.

1) If a user is signed in, the "Log Out" button should always be visible to prevent the user from unknowingly staying logged in and exposing themselves to fraud.

2) If a registered user is not signed in, the "Sign In" button should always be visible to easily guide the user to the secure area of the site where they complete the most common tasks.

3) If an un-registered user is using the product, the "Sign Up" button should be visible to help them quickly gain access to the secure area of the site where they complete the most common tasks.

  • Hi Marti55, thank you that was the answer I was looking for. – Elizabeth González Aug 21 '16 at 21:47
  • Just to add, many times sign up for a financial system takes place at an offline point like the branch of the bank. The financial institution then provides the credentials to the registered users. So a Sign Up may not be part of your workflow. But as the answer mentions, Sign Out/ Log Out is a must. – Harshal Aug 22 '16 at 8:08
  • Hi Elizabeth, glad you found it useful. Can you mark my answer as your accepted response so we can properly categorize the thread? Thanks. @HarshalBhave has a point--many financial institutions will signup users through processes removed from the consumer site, normally through in-branch systems/computers. However, increasingly common are completely online registrations for financial products, like at Capital One or Chase. They're often accompanied by email prompts, often with temporary passcodes. Nonetheless, all of these pieces of the experience should inform your final UX design & flow. – rmarti55 Aug 23 '16 at 8:16
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If something is visible, there is a greater chance that a user will interact with it. Paypal wants to promote signing up, so they make the option plain as day visible to the user on their home page.

Anything that may not be as important to promote, is expected to be in a sub menu or other less obvious place, effectively leaving room for the more important items to draw the eye of users.

Assuming that if someone that is already logged in, cannot sign up (they already signed up and can't do it again), it makes sense to only show the "sign up" when a user is not logged in, and only show the logout button when a user is logged in as well.

Going back to paypal's site (or many other sites for that matter), they show both a signup button and a login button. This is because they have two camps of users, those that already have an account, and those that do not have an account.

It may not make as much sense to expect a user to press "My Account" and navigate to a sub menu if they do not have an account to call their own, compared to simply pressing the always visible "sign up" option, where they expect would allow them to create a new account.

  • Hi ToddBFisher, I made a mistake with my question, I was trying to refer to "log out" and I edited my question. Thank you very much for your answer anyway :) – Elizabeth González Aug 21 '16 at 21:50
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I think the positioning of the element depends on two things:

  • what does the user naturally do, as a part of his workflow?
  • what do you want to gently nudge the user into doing?

Paypal's equal sized yet contrasting sign-up and login buttons give a clear indication of the two exclusive workflows... these are workflows that the user naturally expects to start from. This is a good example of category 1.

In contrast, the overwhelming page-wide "Sign Up" message (which I'm not a fan of) appears to fall into category 2 - i.e. it looks like Paypal is attempting to use its brand recognition into nudging existing customers to sign up for its new services that are being rolled out.

As to how much you want to conform to a known and easy (from user testing metrics) workflow ... and how much you want to nudge the user towards taking an action they might not ordinarily take - that decision need to be yours.

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