Google turned up nothing for this idea, so as far as I know, it is original.
If you go to banking websites, you’ll frequently find a checkmark upon logging in to the effect of “Remember username”. If you go to Quora, you’ll see they have an interesting pattern, where you click on “Log in without a password”. See screenshot here:
What happens if you log out? You get a picture of yourself with the chance to log back in with one click. See screenshot:
In addition to these use-cases, there’s a design pattern getting popular called “Lazy Registration“. You might recognize it from Amazon.com. Essentially, as soon as you visit a site with a browser, a cookie is generated and the server will track things like your shopping history. Once you’re ready to buy, this history can be saved into a permanent account if you register.
Wouldn’t it be nice if at Kinkos, hair salons, hotels and restaurants providing computers for public internet browsing, they could set up their browser to send a custom HTTP X-Public-Computer header? Then sites like Quora and Amazon could look for that header and change the default behavior.
Is this a good idea?
If the post gets positive feedback perhaps I’ll write a browser plugin to add the header so we can all play with it on our websites.