Improve user management for organizations

We have a recurring problem with user’s we invite to our organization. Many users have obscure UserIDs not related to their names and also some users do not bother to setup their account with their full name filled in.

So as an organization we then face two problems:

  1. We can’t find a user in our system unless we know their UserID
  2. We don’t actually know who a user is by looking at their UserID in the list of users.

This has been a pain for years but I never raised it with GitHub.

The following ideas spring to mind:

  1. Allow us - the organization owners - to assign a meaningful name ourselves to a user we invite. This is not part of the user’s account, but is an organization supplied name/moniker that is easily recognized by the organization and others.

  2. Modify the GitHub user account subsystem so that user’s with a full name can be distinguished from users without one, then as part of the invitation process we can click a check box “must have full name” then when the user receives the invitation they will be reminded/prompted to complete that full name before they are allowed to accept.

An organization I manage has around 50 users, many are offshore and have unfamiliar non-English names and when we peruse the list many of them show only an obscure UserID that bears no resemblance to the name we might know the user by.

Sometimes we have to ask someone else, not the user themselves, what a person’s ID is and have no way to be sure we are dealing with the right person. Updating access for “trilbytom11” when we’re told over email this is user “Tom Trill” is a risk, we could end up adjusting permissions to organization assets for the wrong person.

So perhaps adding both of the above suggestion would be good, then we can ensure that all users we invite have a full name and that that full name matches the name we might so on emails and in meetings etc.