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Thread: Display Names and Usernames, the subtle difference and is the confusion worth it?

  1. #1
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    Display Names and Usernames, the subtle difference and is the confusion worth it?

    Lots of websites now, like twitter, or soundcloud, have usernames and display names. The username usually has to be unique and is used as a url. The display name can be anything and does not have to be unique.

    I was thinking about doing this for my website, but I'm not sure of what is the best way to introduce this.

    Option 1: On the signup form the user enters both a username AND a display name. This may confuse them. They may wonder what the difference is. I might need a little help icon to explain this.

    Option 2: On the signup form the user enters a display name, and I take this name erase any non-url characters from it, and if it's not unique append a number and increment it until it is unique. I don't even refer to it as username, and call it url. They have the option of altering their url later.

    Option 3: On the signup form I list Display Name, and url. I've not actually seen this on a sign up form, but it makes it quite clear what has to be done and gets rid of the username display name confusion.

    Any other ideas? What do you think you would prefer? What makes it easiest to sign up to a new site?

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Option 2, except call it "Username". Less is more.
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  4. #3
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    Thanks for replying. I think option 2 is what I will go for. I'm just worried about not having unique usernames. But at the same time, lots of people do have the same name so I don't like people not being able to call themselves whatever they want.

  5. #4
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    Option 3 - it isnt confusing. Perhaps if the url defaults as the username inputted on the form for those less aware of why the url is beneficial.
    Those who dont understand will keep the default, and those who will benefit can customise the url to suit them.


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