Personal tools

Sign In

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Contents

What

User wants to access their personalized information or an application that is stored on the host site.


Example

500px
Sign in module from Yahoo!

Use When

  • Use when personal data needs to be stored or when there is customization or personalization unique to the particular user.
  • Use when the site is a repository for user generated content and the submissions or files need to be identified and/or managed by the author.
  • Use when there are security or privacy concerns and the user's data needs to be protected.


How

Twitter Sign In Module
Sign in module from Twitter.com

  • Provide an input field for the login name.
    • This should be a unique identifier. Many sites use an email address to alleviate the namespace problem that will happen as a site scales.
      Dopplr sign in widget
      Sign in widget from Dopplr.com
    • To avoid unnecessary errors, clearly label what type of user name is required for the field. Many users often utilize a variety of login names and will forget what type is used and can end up locked out, frustrated or abandoning the site.
      Centerd sign in widget
      Sign in widget from centrd.com clearly indicates what type of data is used for the login name.
  • Provide an input field for the password.
  • Provide a clear way to retrieve the user name if it is forgotten.
  • Provide a clear way to retrieve the password if it is forgotten.
  • Provide a clearly labeled Sign In or Login button.
  • If appropriate, allow the user to stay logged into the site for an extended amount of time. This is often presented with a check box and text clearly letting the user know how long they will stay signed in.
  • Once signed in, the site should reflect back to the user that they are signed in in some way. This is often presented by showing the user's name (login or nickname) and a Sign Out option.
  • Provide a way to sign out once logged in.
  • If the user does not have an account, provide easy access to signing up for the site, without distracting the user who just wants to sign in.
  • Options such as "Keep me signed in for 2 weeks" or "Remember me on this computer" should be opt-in. If the user's computer is shared this alleviates accidentally allowing another person into the account.


Accessibility

  • The sign in form should be set up to be easily navigated via the keyboard, with the sign in button being triggered by the return key.

Why

Requiring users to sign in to participate ensures that their contributions and participation is associated with an identity. This allows sites to build a reputation around the person and their contributions.

Requiring authentication allows sites to keep sensitive data secure.


Related


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