Log in vs Sign in – Which is Better?

Trying to decide whether to use the terminology ‘Log In’ vs ‘Sign In’.

With user experience consistency is key, and whichever you decide to go with, you will ultimately need to use it throughout the products or websites you’re designing for.  So an approach to this UX task involved two things in order to get to my final choice.

  1. Research
  2. Survey with stakeholders.

So after a little research I found that ultimately the internet as a whole is undecided.  Here’s a list of what the following companies have decided to use on their websites:

Google – Sign In
Airbnb – Log In / Out
Uber – Sign In
Apple – Sign in
Xero – Login
Sales Force – Login



Dropbox sign in vs log in

Medium – Sign In

Medium Sign In.

Iconic – Login

Login UX.

Facebook – Login

Log In Facebook.

Here’s a quick table I created to note the use around the internet.  Also note the spacing and capitalisation.

What makes sense is that we need to differentiate these two terms as they are very unique functions and speak to users who are in two different mindsets.  One is a new user wanting to ‘Sign up’ or ‘Register’, and the other is an existing user wanting to ‘Log In’ or ‘Sign in’.

So when addressing this key issue I looked at the placement of these two buttons/links, the type of website it is (product or service) and then decided on whether to select ‘Log In’ or ‘Sign In’.

My preference

In this specific scenario this week I ran a quick survey using Google Surveys within about 5 stakeholders and chose ‘Log In’ for existing users and ‘Register’ for new users.  Since ‘Sign Up’ and ‘Sign In’ were far too similar and could be easily mistaken for the other.

The other thing is that from the research above it seemed as if ‘Sign in’ was a term used for eCommerce stores whereas software used ‘Log In’ (but not always.)

Login vs Log In

I also researched and found that the term ‘Login’ needs to be written out in two words vs one to be grammatically correct.  I.e. This is a login page, and this is the ‘Log In’ button.

So if you do decide to chose this then ensure it’s written correctly throughout the site.


Consider Single Sign on

Also consider that when using Single Sign-on with products (SSO) that you may have to use the wording that’s required when using buttons from Google/Microsoft, Xero etc, which is commonly ‘Sign in’.

Sign in vs Log in SSO.

Comment below if you have your own thoughts on this topic or how you went about deciding on which to use.

Stay informed,

Tania Richardson web designer.

10+ years as a product designer. Helping start-ups and organisations combine user research and design principals to deliver the best in online experiences.

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