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I am looking for wording suggestions.

There is a panel on my webpage that can be removed by the user.

If a user removes it, a message appears at the top of the screen that says:

  • The "How it Works" panel has been removed. [Undo]

If the user clicks the "undo" link, the panel re-appears, and a new message appears at the top of the screen:

  • Re-showed the "How it Works" panel.

I'm trying to think of alternatives for this 2nd message.

What would be best to say here and why? Please keep in mind that I then need to pass these English versions to translators so that I have the same meaning in multiple different languages.

Maybe:

  • Unhid the "How it Works" panel.
  • Displayed the "How it Works" panel.
  • Showed the "How it Works" panel.
  • Re-displayed the "How it Works" panel.
  • The "How it Works" panel has been unhidden.
  • The "How it Works" panel has been displayed.
  • etc?
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Why not just 'added'? Added <-> Removed. Also I suggest posting over at the English stack exchange instead of here. –  Roddy of the Frozen Peas Oct 17 '12 at 19:52
    
Yes, why not: The "How it Works" panel has been added back. So that you also keep a consistent sentence construction with the first message. And the "back" also insists on the fact that the first action is reverted. –  Padrig Oct 17 '12 at 20:42
3  
restored seems like a good option –  ratchet freak Oct 17 '12 at 20:46
    
@ratchetfreak If you provide that as an answer, I'll give you credit for it. It's what I ended up using. "Removed" for hiding the panel and "Restored" for the undo (to show it again). –  Ryan May 15 '13 at 20:06
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4 Answers 4

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Restore is a good option.

It has the advantage of being familiar with windows.

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Wouldn't having clicked on 'undo' and the visual feedback of the panel re-appearing be enough to help someone realize they are 'unhiding' something? Is a message really necessary?

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Instead of reporting the activity (was unhidden) report the current status (is visible). Most likely that's also a lot more relevant for the user's context.

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Firstly, you don't need to include all grammar for notification messages. You should have them as short as you can while maintaining clarity, as they are faster to read, and usually easier to understand.

Then, depending on the exact nature of your application, it may be better to change the first message so that a second one is clearer. The message combinations I would then suggest are:

  • "How it Works" panel disabled [undo]
    "How it Works" panel enabled [undo]

    These messages don't work well when a panel has settings that you can modify even when it isn't shown. In that case "disable" is likely to cause confusion.

  • "How it Works" panel hidden [undo]
    "How it Works" panel visible [undo]

    This is clearer when the panel itself is simply not shown, but may still have settings that can be changed while it isn't shown.

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