I feel that the logout link on top of page was a reasonably good place to have it rather than in the user profile page. I would prefer it back on top of the page.

However I would like to know if there is any specific reason to move the logout link to profile page?


1 Answer 1


We moved it because

  1. It's the least used item on the header as measured by HTTP requests.

  2. We need more room on the header, as we've added SE global nav, chat, meta, and two kinds of flags there. For people with "long" names like Rebecca Chernoff it was causing the header to wrap.

The link was moved to your user page, or you can always type in /users/logout in the address bar.

Edit - the link is not on the user page any more, it's now located on the mouse-over pop-down menu available when you hover the mouse over your name in the header.

  • @Jeff - Thanks, but would this not create more confusion on the site for users to first understand where to find logout option? If logout is taking lot of header space, then it can probably be modified to show up as a small icon after FAQ link right? Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 16:15
  • @sachin our actual data shows this link is used hardly at all. There's no way it needs to be a top-level menu item. Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 16:27
  • @Jeff - Hmmm... I think most users just close their browsers instead of logging out probably. Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 16:28
  • @sachin I think you understand correctly. I also don't normally log out of gmail or facebook.
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 16:46
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    @Jeff I think the standard solution to this problem is to have the user name be a menu (or a little arrow next to it) with "logout" as one option (see Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 16:54
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    @david regardless, it's still two clicks, exactly the same as the way we have it now Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 17:03
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    @Jeff: It's a question of discoverability. If it's in an unusual place, casual users of the site won't find it.
    – sth
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 17:42
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    Those are good, valid reasons for rearranging the UI, but IMO, this is a very confusing and unexpected solution. Rollback and rethink, please?
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 18:19
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    @Jeff: Reducing it to clicks simplifies too far. It's really 2 clicks vs. 2 clicks+page refresh+find the link. Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 21:51
  • Speaking as a very recent victim/new user, the hidden logout (which doesn't actually work, but I guess that's a different thread) was a Really Bad Idea (TM). The d*** thing kept logging me back in as my sister, necessitating yet another dig through however many clicks and pages to find the darn thing. Hiding logout like this would only be justified if the site had an auto-logoff policy (as in, if closing the browser had the same effect as logging out, then we wouldn't need the button).
    – JPmiaou
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 6:02
  • @jpm simply click "log out everywhere" on the logout page to clear HTML 5 local storage. Also, you're kind of doing it wrong -- you should log in as different users in the operating system, or at the very least use different web browsers (she uses Firefox, you use Chrome). You're going to have problems all over the web if you subvert the operating system's concept of user isolation. Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 6:19
  • @Jeff: we've been doing things this way for decades. This is the VERY FIRST time we've had any trouble whatsoever. Every other login-type site we use is fully capable of logging out. That argues for the problem being with the site, not with our way of browsing.
    – JPmiaou
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 15:41
  • @Jeff: oh, and our current theory is that part of the problem was that we were both on (on different computers, in different counties!) at the same time. Do you propose to require everyone to, I don't know, only ever use a single computer everywhere?
    – JPmiaou
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 15:43
  • @jpm I don't know how many other ways to say this: click the log out everywhere button, it does what you want. Feel free to email me directly if you need step by step instructions. Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 22:05
  • @Jeff - The new feature where the logout appears in dropdown on top header seems superb. Thanks. Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 9:42

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