One of the most frustrating and unnecessarily annoying speed bumps of the Internet is the login "username."
Typically a minimum of six characters but sometimes requiring as many as eight, the username is an antiquated concept that doesn't help publishers, users, or anyone else. What's the solution?
Publishers should ditch the oft-forgotten "username" and replace it with something that everyone can remember: one of the user's email addresses.
There are four reasons why the email address makes for a superior login credential compared to a generic username.
This advice is especially pertinent to mobile app companies. Now that you don't have UDID to depend on, what could be a better identity for login than an email address? Once an app publisher has collected the email address of its users, it can reach them cross-channel because, despite news to the contrary, many people still use desktop computers.
The benefits don't accrue only for publishers. The user gets a lot of benefit from this approach. There is no string of letters and numbers that can be typed faster than someone can type their email address. I know I can type my email address faster than I can say it. Recovering passwords is much easier when they can be sent to an email address. And even if that address is old, at least you might remember it.
And resist using a "social" login if you can help yourself. Collect that email for yourself first and connect to the social platform next.
Email is history. History that we can all remember. Our personal history is associated with the email address, and it's more durable than a cookie or username. End the username madness and start using the universal unique ID of the Internet, the email address.
Image on home page via Shutterstock.
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As chief operating officer of LiveIntent, Dave Hendricks has overall responsibility for revenue, finance, legal, and operations. Prior to joining LiveIntent before its 2009 Series A, Dave was EVP of operations at PulsePoint (then known as Datran Media), where he worked with LiveIntent founder and CEO Matt Keiser and ran Datran's ESP StormPost. Before all that, Dave held senior roles at data management companies InfoUSA and Experian. A member of the founding executive team at ExperianCheetahMail, Dave began his email adventure at Pioneering ESP MessageMedia after running global partnerships for Oracle Corp. Dave was named one of Silicon Alley Insiders Top 100 technologists in 2011 and is active in several IAB Committees including Mobile and Email. Follow him on Twitter @davehendricks.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT