Are Your Login Boxes Clear?

What terminology are you using on your website with regards to with your log in box? Is it clear to a user who might not have visited your website recently, exactly what information you are asking for?

I visited my health insurance’s website recently (where I am a member) and I was confronted by this login box:

Now try as I might, I could not remember what my username was. More importantly I was unsure if they were asking for my membership number, my email address or some other username that I might have created in the past. I think it would have been fairly easy for them to replace the word “username” with something that gave me more of an idea of exactly what they were asking for. Needless to say I tried a few options, couldn’t figure it out and ended up having to go through the “forgotten password or username” process (using a few guesses) to find out what username they were wanting me to input.

Don’t assume that your website visitors knows exactly what you are asking for in this instance. It is much better from a usability perspective to provide them with specific information to save the frustration and the lost time that can be spent on figuring out something as simple as a login. Even more importantly if your business depends on users being able to login to the website to complete a task or maintain your relationship – make it straight forward or you will lose them!

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