Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

We're working on an application in which users can add hyperlinks. However, we're having a hard time finding an acceptable word that is easily understood by our users. We've asked about 10 users and they're pretty split between our current ideas.

We've come up with:

  • Hyperlink (used by SE's markdown toolbar)
  • Web Address (used by Gmail)
  • External Link (used by Lucid Chart - which is sort of similar to our application).

Is there any data to suggest which is more popular?

We can't use "link" for URLs since our application has links to things within our application (see my other post).

Here's a mock up of the current UI:

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

share|improve this question
1  
How about "link"? ;) –  Sam Pierce Lolla Jan 16 '13 at 18:49
    
@SamPierceLolla - The problem with "link" is that we have different "kinds" of links. See my other question for more info. –  TheCloudlessSky Jan 16 '13 at 18:58
3  
Why is it important to distinguish the different "kinds" of links? (knowing that will help us answer the question) –  DA01 Jan 17 '13 at 4:03
    
@DA01 - You can't just have one UI element that is for URLs and "internal" links. Take a look at the other post and you'll see 2 types of links: flow chart links and then "external file" (aka URL... the "file" was just an example for that post) links. I had stated in the OP that this was part of the ui for "adding links". –  TheCloudlessSky Jan 17 '13 at 12:43
1  
A link is a link if they are both URLs. Are internal links not URLs? How are they created? How are they different? –  DA01 Jan 17 '13 at 15:34

6 Answers 6

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Have you asked some of your (potential) users yet? How do they call it? Perhaps they can come up with the correct term.

I always go with 'URL' with "http://" already filled in, even though that isn't the correct term. I haven't been able to find a single user yet that didn't get that or had any trouble in using it.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

share|improve this answer
1  
You bring up a very good point about starting the user off with a hint. Even if they don't know what it's called, they always recognize the http://. –  TheCloudlessSky Jan 17 '13 at 4:03
    
I'm going to go with this, but also use "web address" as the text. Cheers! –  TheCloudlessSky Jan 17 '13 at 18:33

I have always found that instead of saying hyperlink or web address, it is always simpler to call it "URL".

So if the button says "add URL", in my experience the user doesn't get confused while in web address and hyperlink, he does!

share|improve this answer
    
Perhaps, but I think "URL" is a misnomer. A URL/URI is the "locator" or "identifier" for a web resource. In this case, the resource/URL already exists, it just needs to be associated with that content ("linked"). –  Sam Pierce Lolla Jan 16 '13 at 19:26
    
URL actually is "now" defined as uniform resource locator which provides a "reference" to an internet source. - Essentially what your hyperlinks provide - a reference. –  user22624 Jan 16 '13 at 19:40
    
hm, interesting. I still think thing a "URL" and a "link" are different things, though. –  Sam Pierce Lolla Jan 16 '13 at 19:44

I'd go with "link": hyperlink sounds like jargon; "Web address" is redundant because a) you're already on the web and b) generally it's not in the form of an address, it's a word or phrase that is linked; and "external link" is something you can still use, but I'd personally use a tooltip to indicate it's external. But as always: who are your users?

share|improve this answer
    
As I mentioned in the comments, this post has details as to why its hard to call something just a "link" when it can be a different kind of link. –  TheCloudlessSky Jan 17 '13 at 3:58
1  
I think we need to see the interface you are hoping to use for this. My gut reaction is that everything you describe in that post is still a 'link', but perhaps a user would then pick the TYPE of link at the time of creation. –  DA01 Jan 17 '13 at 4:05
    
@DA01 - Yup - that's exactly what I'm talking about. There are different kinds of links (a URL to something and then links inside the application) in which the user can pick. –  TheCloudlessSky Jan 17 '13 at 12:41
1  
I'd like to see how the user currently picks links - I've had a look at your other question, but it would really help to see everything in one place! –  Peter Jan 17 '13 at 14:44
    
@Peter - Updated the OP with a mockup of the current UI. –  TheCloudlessSky Jan 17 '13 at 16:57

"Link" - simple, common, clear, obvious

share|improve this answer
2  
As was mentioned in a comment by the op about this suggestion it is not something that they can go with. –  JonW Jan 16 '13 at 21:24
    
Alright, maybe he should then add icons for different kinds of links. –  thevangelist Jan 16 '13 at 21:41
2  
@thevangelist - Sure, but what do you call the textbox in which you enter the URL? –  TheCloudlessSky Jan 17 '13 at 4:03

If it's a list of links that can be added, you might want to consider bookmark as an option. After all, these linky external hyperwebaddress things are really just like using your finger or bit of paper to remember a location, right?

share|improve this answer

I think we still need to see a bit more of the UI to fully understand the issue, but based on what you've said, I'd suggest having one link tool, but a way to choose the type:

+--------------------------------------------+
|                                            |
|  Create Link                               |
|                                            |
|  Link to:                                  |
|                                            |
|  O Another page on this site               |
|  O A different web site                    |
|                                            |
|                                            |
|    [ interface changes here based on       |
|         above selection ]                  |
|                                            |
+--------------------------------------------+

That way the link/button to trigger the link modal can be a more generic 'create link' command.

share|improve this answer
1  
I've updated the OP with a mockup of the UI. –  TheCloudlessSky Jan 17 '13 at 16:52
    
Looks like that's pretty much what you have! I think that's good...and I think the specific term for "url" is perhaps less of an issue since it's place in context with the other two. –  DA01 Jan 17 '13 at 17:08
    
Yeah - but like I said in the OP, the users were literally spit between knowing what the word meant... which was the reason for asking this question. –  TheCloudlessSky Jan 17 '13 at 18:04
    
how about "a web page"? That seems sufficiently different than the two 'flow' options. –  DA01 Jan 17 '13 at 18:05
    
The problem with page is that the users will be linking to files/pages almost 50/50. It's quite a tricky situation. –  TheCloudlessSky Jan 17 '13 at 18:07

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.