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Sign In Continuity

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A user with an account but who is not currently signed in wants to participate by contributing something.




Use this pattern when authentication is required for participation in a community. Forms of participation include (but are not limited to) comments, votes, ratings, tags, posts to blogs or forums, and so on.


  • When the user attempts to comment (or take similar action) remind them of the need to sign in first and deliver them to the sign in flow.
  • When the user has successfully signed in, return them to the context they were in when they were about to comment or take similar action.
  • When handling the submission of information, preserve any data that has been enteredprior to the login procedure.


It's important that the sign-in requirement does not present an undue barrier to participation for the user.

Special Cases

Should paranoid concerns (such as cross-site scripting issues, and possible cross-domain issues) require that the flow be interrupted or even that the user be returned to a home page, then at least insert an alert message with a clear call to action to resume the moment of participation.

This message might include a link to the last known location, a pre-populated form or a message indicating a redirect in x seconds.

As Seen On


Yahoo! Pattern Library