A ‘Username or Email’ Field Helps Forgetful Users Log In

by on 02/09/12 at 3:43 pm

Forgetting your username is like forgetting your keys and getting locked out of your house. It’s a frustrating experience in life, but a ‘username or email’ field can make it less frustrating online. Allowing users to log in with either their username or email is like giving them a spare key. If they forget one, they can use the other to log in.

It’s easier for users to remember their email address more than their usernames because most users check their email regularly. However, some sites don’t allow users to log in with their email, but only their username. This forces unnecessary work on the user when they forget their username and have to fill out the form again to create a new account. Not only that, but the more users that forget their username, the more you’ll populate your database with  ghost or throwaway accounts.

A Username or Email Field Helps Forgetful Users Log In

A flexible name field would not only help users who forget their username, but it’ll also help users who forget the email address they used to sign up for your site. Most users have multiple email addresses and can’t always remember which one they used to sign up. But they might use the same username across different sites. Giving users the option to choose how they want to log in, gives them freedom from getting locked out of their account.

Getting locked out of anything isn’t fun. You can prevent that from happening by using a ‘username or email’ field in your login form. You’ll always have users who forget their login information. Making logging in easy by giving them two keys instead of one.


A Username or Email Field Helps Forgetful Users Log In A Username or Email Field Helps Forgetful Users Log In

Author and editor-in-chief of UX Movement. Loves great web experiences and fights for the user.

8 Responses to “A ‘Username or Email’ Field Helps Forgetful Users Log In”

  1. Dave

    Feb 9th, 2012

    One other thing, if I fill in my email address and click “Forgot”, please don’t ask me to retype my email address!

  2. CPOThemes

    Feb 15th, 2012

    Definitely a more flexible system that would allow users to remember their login credentials way more often– but it may also pose higher security risks, since you’re essentially giving users the ability to input more data fields.

    Any thoughts on this, Anthony?

    • anthony

      Feb 21st, 2012

      It’s more of a convenience for users than a security risk. Weak passwords are the number one security risk for logins, whether you’re asking users for their username and email or not.

  3. Jeff

    Feb 16th, 2012

    So what kind of input type do you go with, it’d have to be “text”, but it’d be nice to swap that with “email” for mobile users… as per: http://uxmovement.com/forms/input-types-give-users-the-right-keyboard-on-mobile-forms/

  4. Tim from IntuitionHQ

    Feb 19th, 2012

    A flexible identification field that allow users to enter either their email address or username to log in is very user friendly. It does definitely help to make your site more usable for most users. Especially since I know myself how easy it is to get lost of all your different accounts.

  5. David Padilla

    Mar 1st, 2012

    Another emerging trend for simplifying form fields is to clarify password fields. Meaning, when a user is typing their password, the field will not switch the characters into ‘asterisks.’ Example, for those of you who have an iPhone, when you’re typing your password, the characters you type will display for about 0.5 seconds before switching to an asterisk. This makes it very easy to see what characters you are typing, thus reducing the chance of entering the wrong password.

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