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“Your” vs “My” in user interfaces

For example, the pictures folder on windows is called "my pictures", but an app might say "are you sure you'd like to delete that"? Even other times, buttons say "Delete my file.", as though it's the user saying it. Yet at other points in time the app might say "should I delete this" as if it's talking to you.

So, when is it appropriate to use each POV? Which one is the most usable?

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marked as duplicate by JonW Jan 3 '13 at 0:08

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Related/possible duplicates: 'My Account' or 'Your Account'? “Your” vs “My” in user interfaces – Ben Brocka Jan 2 '13 at 17:52

The 'tone of voice' plays an important role here. We recently had a debate going on, on the usage of 'you' and 'my' in the primary navigation of our application, which is a social collaboration platform. We decided to go with 'you' as this gives the application a voice of its own, and doesnt associates it with the user, rather promotes the feeling for the user that he/she is interacting with a seperate entity of its own, and it has so far worked for us!

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