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Amazon's logout UI

Eugene commented on a thread on the Business of SW section about how he wishes Amazon had a sign-out button.

Guess what? Amazon does have Sign Out.

It's just not labeled that way. Look at the bar on the top of the page: Hello, Eugene. We have recommendations for you. (If you're not Eugene, click here.)

Is this really clever, or really misleading?

Note that they also don't have an explicit sign-in label. Rather, once you do something which requires a login, or you click the subtle link at the top, you sign in.
mb Send private email
Thursday, March 24, 2005
The fact that Eugene could not find a Logout button means something about how he thinks about the web.

"Login/Logout" have became part of the web idiom, as well as a shopping cart icon means the list of products you bought. That is what users intuitively look for.

Besides, telling Eugene that if he is not Eugene isn't usefull if he in fact is Eugene and want to logout, so to avoid that others use his accout (for example, in a public terminal.

So, Amazon should ask: why would one like to logout?

a) Becouse he is using a public terminal, accessed Amazon  and mistakenly is logged as Eugene because Eugene did't loged out (and Eugene didn't loged out because he in fact is Eugene and could not "click here, If you're not Eugene."). If this is the case, he surely would like to logout as _fast as possible_, and do not pose as Eugene writing obscene comments about books. So, to write "If you're not Eugene, click here." is a good thing. Surely, people will click that link to avoid impersonating another identity.

b) Because he is in a public terminal and would not like  someone using his account to write obscene comments about books in amazon.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
It has to be better than Yahoo's 'Sign Out' and 'Lokk, I really mean it, so really sign out, you PoS!' idea.

Thursday, March 24, 2005
Yes, Yahoo's "sign out to the purgatory" idea sucks pretty badly.

By the way, Amazon asks me to confirm that I'm Daniel when I attempt to do "really important" stuff. They *know* I'm Daniel, but then if I add a book to the basket for the first time today I need to do a sort of "super-sign in" to confirm that I'm Daniel. It's like "are you really, really Daniel?"
Daniel Daranas
Thursday, March 24, 2005
I don't use Amazon that much because they burnt me once with their "free shipping". But that is another story.

Anyway, I never really noticed their log in/out logic before but I have to say that I was rather confused trying to use it (even after reading this thread). I don't think that calling your login link "personalized recommendations" is very intuitive. The last thing that I want are "personalized recommendations". I avoid links like that like I do the plague.  ;) I really had to struggle to log in all because I was afraid to click a link whose purpose appears to be more marketing related than login related.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
I want to logout because i don't want them tracing my activity.
son of parnas
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Here's how I logout:

After you're finished shopping, go back to the home page.  At the top of the page, you should see a link that says "(If you're not <YOUR NAME>, click here.)".  Click on "click here", and you will be logged out.

Thursday, March 24, 2005
To Jonas:
Yes, you are probably right about their reasoning. But they assume that they know anything about what the user might want to do. One of the good rules about UI design is not to force the user to do what you think she wants to do. There always will be a case, which you have not foreseen. Maybe I am little bit paranoid about logging out (you never know that next virus or spyware will not have access to the website where you currently logged in), but I am the user that requests secure https log-in and log out functions on any web portal that might have my private information.

To Daniel Daranas:
I see nothing wrong with Yahoo log out (As you can imagine I am using it too). For me, it is not "sign out to the purgatory". It is locking access to my private information for any human being or malicious program that might run on my PC.
Eugene Send private email
Saturday, March 26, 2005
I'm actually in agreement with Eugene: I even prefer logout on phone systems (e.g. voicemail, phone banking): I don't want the transaction to intentionally or accidentally to continue after I hang up, either by a person or just line noise feeding some voice-driven system.

But AFAICT Amazon has the goal of storing as much information about everyone as possible. So they don't want you to sign out, only sign in, so the sign out link looks like a sign in link...
mb Send private email
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Eugene - you missed the point. To completely log out from Yahoo you have to log out and then... "log out completely" or some such nonsense. Once is enough unless it involves exchange of bodily fluids with a nubile young beauty.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

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