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How should I set a user’s username?

Last modified on May 02, 2016

There are two ways to set a username. Once set, a username is permanent.

Make the username the same as the user's email address:

  • pro: it's a simple strategy that will set a known username pattern for your company
  • pro: it will be easily remembered by users
  • con: email addresses can be long, entailing more typing
  • con: if the user's email address changes, their username will not be consistent with their new email address

If an email address is used as the basis for a username, updating the user's email address later does not change their username.

Specify a custom username:

  • pro: the username can be shorter than an email address, so less typing is needed
  • pro: this strategy supports the situation where a user needs more than one user account
  • con: you have to invent the username, which can be onerous if you have many users (though this can be mitigated by devising a convention for generating usernames from given names)

If you choose to create a custom username it can be a maximum of 20 characters. You can use @, hyphen, underscore and period in the username but no other special characters, punctuation or spaces. This username must be unique and should not match other account information such as phone number.