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Here on the site, we get a number of identification-type questions by unregistered users that are tolerated at best. From time to time there are that unregistered users just abandon these account and their questions, because they might have loss their session cookie.

Currently, it's takes a bit of effort to differentiate the ones who are unregistered from the ones that are at a glance. You have to navigate directly to their profile in order to check for the "(unregistered)" label. Having some distinctive representations like an italicized, can be a noticeable and subtle way of indicating this.

Being able to differentiate between registered and unregistered users can help in a number of ways on this site:

  • Saves time when dealing users that make very low-quality (i.e. shit) posts, by not having to navigate to their profile to check (current precedence states that unregistered users making very low-quality post will deleted with little to no exceptions)

  • Makes new, unregistered users more aware (visually) that their account is a bit different than regular accounts. Hopefully converting them to become registered users.

    • Some users lose their cookie sessions and end up creating an account, but cannot accept an answer until a merge request is made and completed. Some time the new user registers a new account and asks the same question, like these two
    • Many new users who are not familiar with the SE format are unaware of the differences and most of the time don't bother to find out. Adding a help tooltip that basically helps describe what an unregistered user means can potentially improve new user experience in understanding that their account has a volatile lifespan
    • Sometimes users that don't know better might also end up creating multiple unregistered account with the same name

Some potential side effects may include possible user discrimination based on account types, but for the part this community isn't the type to participate or encourage this type of behavior. Therefore I don't believe it any users will refrain from giving an unregistered users votes or refraining from answering their questions because they are unregistered.

The intent of this request is to promote better user experience by highlighting to new users the volatility of unregistered accounts, through representing an an unregistered user's display name with italics and adding a tooltip on their profile page, explaining what being an unregistered user means.

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  • 3
    I understand unregistered accounts lower the bar for entry, but honesty - the bar is too low, and the effort of a sign up could dissuade much of our lq ask&run users – Toshinou Kyouko Oct 15 '15 at 3:38
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    Technically, shouldn't this be requested on meta.SE? – Jan Oct 16 '15 at 19:02

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