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I'm currently revising a menu that has evolved over time to include lots of generic verbs in menu items. The biggest offender is 'Manage'. Manage Users, Manage Portal. I feel like these don't really provide a lot of value.

In the example of 'Manage Users', all you can really do is add new users and edit information for existing ones.

Are there any potential negative effects to using a slash-separated menu-items?

e.g. 'Add/Edit Users' Vs 'Manage Users'

Add/Edit is more meaningful, but it's less easy to read.

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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Do you have UI space for a two line menu description, so that the second line would offer a hints as to what the option does? Basecamp does a good job with this, see below. I love this method for clarity.

See how basecamp does it

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Not really, though this is good suggestion. There are too many menu items for this to work really well. –  dennislees Sep 12 '12 at 12:08
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Think of it from the perspective of one of your users.

"Manage" is a generic verb that doesn't really tell you anything at all. If your users are looking for a specific function, "Manage Users" just tells them to look here.

"Add/Edit" is more specific - it tells your users that they need to look here to add a new user, or to modify an existing one. For any other function, look elsewhere.

The added clarity of being explicit outweighs any extra (minor!) cost of readability.

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Yeah, I guess the slash isn't such a deal breaker, and really is much better than the 'Manage' version, which might as well say "User Stuff". –  dennislees Sep 12 '12 at 12:10
    
What if you can also delete a user? What if you can also X a user? Add/Edit/Delete/{n} quickly becomes cumbersome and unreadable. –  msanford Sep 13 '12 at 16:58
    
@msanford You need to choose the caption to suit the situation. I agree that Add/Edit/Delete/{n} is unwieldy. If you have that many options, isn't it likely that a more generic term like "Manage" becomes appropriate? Tossing around an all encompassing word like "Manage" or "Maintain" is misleading when all you can do is Add/Edit. But when a wider set of actions is available, those terms become more accurate and more useful. –  Bevan Sep 13 '12 at 23:46
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