I find the website hard to navigate.

When I want to log out, I spend minutes hunting. There are number of items in the menu bar above and it isn't obvious which one will have the logout feature, or even if it's under any of those or somewhere else entirely.

It isn't obvious how to navigate to the meta pages or if there are separate sites for questions and feature requests or for queries like this one.

I admit to finding sites very frustrating to use when the most basic and common features, like logout, are difficult to find. I use public computers in the University and it is crucial to logout of everything every time. I don't want to waste time hunting for crucial features.

Before voting this down as inappropriate please consider that it wouldn't be here if the site, and where to post messages like this one, was easier to navigate. Hence, it's here. That is, as they say, kind of the point.

But logout? Come on. Why not just have it up there on its own all the times so it isn't necessary to spend time finding it?

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ For public computers I'd recommend "private" mode of the browser and then close that. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Nov 9 '15 at 20:06
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    $\begingroup$ For reference, downvotes on meta often mean disagreement rather than "this is inappropriate". $\endgroup$ Nov 9 '15 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I just wish they'd find a better way to deal with a question. $\endgroup$ Nov 9 '15 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ The fact is you found the Logout link before posting this Question. If you have a specific suggestion about a better place to put the Logout link, you have also found the right place to make that suggestion. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Nov 10 '15 at 4:19
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    $\begingroup$ I can understand having to "hunt" for the logout link once or twice, but surely if you use the logout feature sufficiently often that want it to be displayed prominently, at some point you can also just remember where it is... $\endgroup$ Nov 10 '15 at 9:14
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know, I mean, if you have experience with social websites in general, then you know that the navbar at the top is the only place the logout button could possibly be. There's only 6 things on the navbar. Two things can be ruled out immediately ("review" and "help"). One thing can be ruled out once you realize it's just a link that takes you to a different page (your profile). This leaves the three dropdown menus to the left. Checking each in turn takes seconds, and the logout button is immediately visible once you do. Where were "hunting", the bottom of the page or something? $\endgroup$
    – Jack M
    Nov 10 '15 at 9:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is all irrelevant once you have logged in using an untrusted machine. Typing your password means ``your account is compromised'' right away, so you don't really need the log out button. $\endgroup$
    – dbanet
    Nov 12 '15 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ And finding the MathJax link always takes me a few minutes... $\endgroup$
    – copper.hat
    Nov 12 '15 at 21:02
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    $\begingroup$ @copper.hat In Chrome/Windows: (1) right-click Ask Question; (2) choose Open link in incognito window; (3) copy the MathJax tutorial link from the top of the page shown there. Totally intuitive. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Nov 12 '15 at 21:09
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    $\begingroup$ @NormalHuman: Thanks, I will remember that because you told me. It is intuitive like the four finger swipe that my daughter showed me while rolling her eyes. (Apple used to be synonymous with intuitive design.) $\endgroup$
    – copper.hat
    Nov 12 '15 at 21:12
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    $\begingroup$ @quid Unfortunately, for many public computers, the private mode is not allowed. For example, my university blocks Chrome's incognito mode. $\endgroup$
    – Justin
    Nov 17 '15 at 20:24
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    $\begingroup$ @dbanet That is a rather dubious argument. The intent of logging out is to prevent casual misuse of the MSE account by other university students -- sure, a dedicated attack could compromise the account (by keylogging etc) but obviously this is not the OP's main concern. $\endgroup$
    – user7530
    Nov 19 '15 at 0:39
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    $\begingroup$ Yep, that's right. I just ignored the post concerned. It was needlessly alarmist. I'm not trying to guard against a determined hacker. In fact, as the selfsame poster said, the logout button doesn't defend against such a person in any case. It's the casual passer by who'd otherwise have access to my account. Main reason being, although the determined hacker may pose the bigger danger if they were to try to gain access, it's also a far less realistic scenario than leaving myself prone to the casual user. $\endgroup$ Nov 19 '15 at 19:15
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This reminds me that I've never logged out. :O $\endgroup$
    – K. Rmth
    Nov 20 '15 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ I agree that the website is difficult to navigate and that the "log out" button is well hidden, but it is enough to learn its location once (press the large "Stack Exchange" button on the upper bar and it's there) in order not to forget it anymore. $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Nov 20 '15 at 11:51

Stack Exchange uses OpenId (or similar) authentification flow. On the plus side, you don't necessarily need a separate password for SE. On the other side, this means that to really log out of a Stack Exchange site you also need to log out of your OpenId provider.

If you are using a public computer, the advice of an SE employee is to use private/incognito mode of your browser, and then simply close the browser. This really is a useful habit to adopt when on a public workstation, regardless of SE use.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's also a good habit at work, and for any clickbait on social media from "friends". Basically always, except when there are overriding reasons not to. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Nov 10 '15 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, reliably logging out with OpenID is a pain, because the OpenID protocol was never really designed to properly support that. And because SE's own login system also uses OpenID internally, it inherits all the same problems. Using Private Browsing / Incognito mode is really the only practical workaround. $\endgroup$ Nov 13 '15 at 1:09
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    $\begingroup$ This doesn't really explain or justify why the interface doesn't expose the logout-button to be clearly visible & accessible like (e.g.) this where "logout" links to http://math.stackexchange.com/users/logout, does it? I think that is OP's main concern. The oddities of OpenID then form another, deeper issue. Anyways, to me this looks like a question that should be treated on the main meta.SE. $\endgroup$
    – Piwi
    Nov 13 '15 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Piwi, I emphatically agree! $\endgroup$ Nov 15 '15 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ You're not really logged out unless you also logout of your Open ID provider? If you log out from your Open ID provider do you still have to separately have to log out from Stack Exchange? (I guess so, otherwise what's the use of providing a log out button at all.) $\endgroup$ Nov 21 '15 at 20:23

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