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I'm a bit confused as to what the best way to naming buttons is. And if it needs to be consistent with the instructions (voice of one person), for instance:

Example A (one person): Are you new to the website? "Name", "Email", "Pass" [Sign up]

Example B (conversation): Are you new to the website? "Name", "Email", "Pass" [Sign me up]

Can we play it as a conversation? where the instructions come from the website founder, and the buttons are orders from the user, as in Example B.

I know that [Sign up] is pretty standard, but if I use it, I have to be consistent through out the website with other buttons. And I'm not liking the [Do this] tone in buttons, it seems pushy.

Or maybe I'm putting too much weight on this.

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Possibly of interest too: Using “Sign in” vs using “Log in”. –  jensgram Jul 8 '11 at 5:58

3 Answers 3

Hard to say which is the right one to use without knowing the tone of the rest of the website content. If it is more informal then Option B would make sense, but if the content isn't "playful" then I would stick with Option A.

The only other options is to do A/B testing and attempt to statistically prove which one out performs the other, though many other factors my contribute to users signing up.

Good luck and don't lose too much sleep over this one!

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Thanks Keith. It's a social platform for training courses in the Middle East. It should be somewhere between formal and playful. –  hamadmj Jul 7 '11 at 12:56

The language should be in context with the rest of the site - both before and after reaching the dreaded signup form.

  • If I'm signing up for banking online, I'm going to expect something like 'Register', or 'Apply'.

  • If I'm signing up to buy online at an ecommerce site, 'Sign up' suits everyone.

  • If I'm signing up for emails from a R&B artist fan site (eg Ne-Yo!) I'm very happy with 'Sign me up', especially if I get the connection...

  • If I'm signing up for a new tech service that's trying overly hard to be very casual it might be 'Sign me up right now dude'. (No really - this happens!)

My point is, the tone of the rest of your site will tell you which one to use. If there's nothing friendly and casual or conversationally engaging about the rest of the site, use 'sign up' not 'sign me up'.

If still in doubt, use 'sign up'.

By the way - I'd never actually thought of the term 'sign up' on the submit button as an instruction from the website telling me what to do. I always see it as an action that I am telling the website to do, using my details. Interesting switch, - I wonder what percentage of people think 'sign up' is a pushy instruction...

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I agree with you. The signup button is not the problem but the example for other buttons. The microcopy in Arabic sounds a bit more pushy. And the website is meant to be social for people looking to train others and get training. –  hamadmj Jul 7 '11 at 13:04

Honestly, I'd just stick with [sign up].

Users are pretty familiar with both documentation and UI terms using the 2nd person imperative (the 'Do X, do Y, do Z' voice). Not only is it familiar, but it's far shorter, too.

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