July 18, 2006
Usernames are bad for the net

Last night I tried to order a pizza from Pizza Hut via their web page. If any industry was perfect for the web, it's food delivery. Pizza Hut made me create an account and a username before I could order a pizza. If I want to order another pizza there, I have to remember my fucking Pizza Hut username again.

This is just getting ridiculous.

Do the people at Pizza Hut really expect me to remember a specific username to order pizza with?

In fact, the use of usernames to log into web sites is completely and utterly wrong.

Every time you create an account somewhere, they need your email address, mainly for the purpose of having a way to contact you. Many times they also insist on creating a username that you use to log in with as well. There is no reason at all for the creation of a username.

Let’s think about this for a minute:

Cons about usernames for people

    The username you want is already taken
    You need to remember a gazillion different usernames
    If you forget your username, you need to wait for an email to be sent to you
    It leads to using the same username/password everywhere

Pros about user names for people


All a login username does is create yet another roadblock between you and the information or task you want on the net. Why can’t all sites use your email address as the login name? It can’t be fore security reasons, web sites trust the email address implicitly and will send your username or password to you via email without hesitation. It can’t be for identity reasons, logging in with a email address still allows for displaying a username.

Cons about using email address to log in


Pros about using email address to log in

    You only need to remember your password
    Someone can't take your email address

Web designers are you listening? Stop with the usernames already. They are a huge pain in the ass to everyone and serve no benefit. Just stick with email addresses and be done with it.

On a side note, the wings from Pizza Hut sucked as well. I should have gone with Papa Johns. Not only is their food better, they let you log in with your email address.

Posted by michael at July 18, 2006 05:59 PM


Great blog! I've added a link to your blog on Blog of the Day under the category of Rant. To view the feature of your blog, please visit http://blogoftheday.org/page/111684

BTW Thank you for not making me log in to post this comment.

Posted by: Rob [http://blogoftheday.org] on July 18, 2006 6:47 PM

I hate my power company for simmilar reasons. In order to access my online bill, I have to use my account number. It is not my email address, nor my telephone number, nor my social security number. It's a brand new number they assigned just for me. Stupid.

Posted by: Mister P. [http://misterp.blogspot.com] on July 18, 2006 8:47 PM

I hear that most pizza joints have this thing called a telephone. Sources seem to indicate that they don't ask you to create a username when placing an order using that method of communication.

If calling and ordering isn't suitably high-tech, one could always initiate the call via Skype.

Posted by: BillB [http://squidly.com] on July 19, 2006 3:55 AM

It breaks down on the BtoB side -- let's suppose you sell a site license for 50 people access to something -- you're really going to have it under username?

Posted by: Devin [http://www.kokoromedia.com] on July 19, 2006 8:24 AM

It breaks down on the BtoB side -- let's suppose you sell a site license for 50 people access to something -- you're really going to have it under username?

Posted by: Devin [http://www.kokoromedia.com] on July 19, 2006 8:27 AM

I'm out here on the fringes of modern society (in the midwest burbs) and I see the value of a rogue email account (a 'junk mail account') and keeping a 'specialname' for offers and for use for pizza hut, krogeronline, papajohns online, dominospizza online, and all of the rest of the places that want my info for marketing purposes.
From it, my 'junk mail account' has increased activity [+600% in 2006!]; my kids [now no longer attached by dad to a movie studio] still get to see 8-10 movies a year for free (AMC mostly) due to promos recieved from all the sign-ups. We enjoy free dinners (Chili's, Benegan's, Macaroni Grill, Big Ben's, BJ's and others) with similar offers for feedback for food/opinions.
Does it concern me that Marketing America knows all this fake stuff about my fake 'junk mail account'? naw!
Am I worried about my personal privacy?
What's that?
We live in a post 9-11 America with Bushies running the country!
ANYONE who is a paramedic, firefighter, police officer and their ilk have immediate access to my personal information (Soc Sec #, personal home, financial and credit info [more...]) without so much as a special code word BY LAW if they want to check it out I have NO SAY in the matter...
...I practically LIVE on my computer, so all my input and browsing habits are stored in some large AT&T cache for Homeland Security to flip through at their leisure - me, concerned about personal security? what for? it doesn't exist.

oh, and thanks for requiring that I provide a email address to post a comment - it makes me feel right at home...

Posted by: michael [http://www.planomug.com] on July 20, 2006 6:19 AM

Down with usernames!
I'm still curious why you didn't just phone the pizza place. Doesn't take longer to order online for something like this?

Posted by: Mom [http://momonthealert.com] on July 21, 2006 10:57 PM

Your Mom's right... Listen to her!

Posted by: BillB [http://squidly.com] on July 23, 2006 3:40 AM

This is for BillB at squidly.com:

Been reading your blog, and since I cannot seem to be able to comment, and cannot find a way to send an email, I am trying here...

Try eating some organic yogurt, with all the live bacteria, a few times a day for a few days and see if the digestive problems get better. Can't hurt and may make the situation better. Hope you will be feeling better soon.

Posted by: Mike's Mom [http://momonthealert.com] on July 23, 2006 6:15 PM

Yep, I turned off comments there until I feel well enough to address the spam problem properly. Thanks for the advice about the yogurt. Interestingly enough, I've been trying to eat 1 yogurt a day for the pro-biotic benefits the last few days. I can get the organic stuff at the cafeteria where I work...I'll start giving that stuff a shot this week.

I have an appointment with a Gastro specialist for this Friday. Thanks for the kind thoughts... :)

Posted by: BillB [http://squidly.com] on July 24, 2006 4:12 AM

We know where you live, Mr. Troublemaker.

Do you know what is in Room 101?

Posted by: Big Brother [] on July 28, 2006 12:12 AM

You should rate this Pizza Hut experience on Check a Biz (www.checkabiz.com). They are new, but their ratings go in depth into your experience rather than 1-5 star rating and comments.

They do require registration (and a username - bastards :) ) but its free and pretty fun.

Posted by: John [http://none] on July 29, 2006 8:42 AM

Pizza hut is the greatest of the franchise pizza-houses.

bite your tongue!

PAPA JOHN = over charismatic system-bucking you guy whose secret to success lay in two words:


*steps off soapbox*

Posted by: Dave Rockstar [http://justhalfempty.blogspot.com] on August 1, 2006 7:50 PM
Post a comment