Questions about the way something should be written for users to read and comprehend

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35
votes
12answers
4k views

Messages such as “Operation Successfully Completed”: Is word “successfully” really necessary?

We see it everywhere: Database queries to shopping carts, the message "Operation X successfully completed" is ubiquitous. But is the word "successfully" really necessary? Is there a way to ...
378
votes
15answers
48k views

Should error messages apologize?

We are having a discussion on our team about an error message that says "Sorry, you do not have permission to access this feature. Please contact your administrator for assistance." Is it ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

'Likes' vs 'Upvotes' [duplicate]

When it comes to completely anonymous appreciation of videos. What is better to use: 'Likes' vs 'Upvotes'? I've read elsewhere that likes seem more personal and there is a network involved. But what ...
13
votes
7answers
308 views

Any alternative to the term “anonymous”?

In some contexts, allowing users to send posts or comments without disclosing their identity can add value by providing more freedom of speech. Words like "anonymous" and "anonymity" do convey this ...
8
votes
6answers
477 views

Should map markers be called pins or markers?

For reasons I won't explain, I have to change the word 'issues' to something different in our UI. 'Issues' corresponds to the number of map markers on a user's map. Should 'issues' be changed to ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Action sequence is always “check out” then “check in”: Should I name the tab “check out / check in” even tough it sounds weird in English?

In the document management world, here is the typical way to edit a document: Check out (the document is now locked by me and made available locally) Edit Check in (the document is saved back to the ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Application name; space between words, or no space?

I am trying to determine what convention I should use to name my application. I am developing a Web Browser and I know this will seem like a weird thing to ask, but please bear with me. More and ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Different label for “diff” (e.g., change history, etc.) via GitHub

I'm working on a tool that allows a user, with proper permissions, to view the "diff" between a staging and production release for a device configuration. I know GitHub has a "diff" concept that ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What should a e-mail address confirmation e-mail say?

I'm sending out an e-mail containing a link as to prove the user had registered with an e-mail address they have access to. 1)What is the name of such an e-mail? Verification e-mail, confirmation ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

How should I formulate a validation error message for a number field?

How should I formulate a validation error message for a number field? A number is expected. A number is required. The value should be a number. Number is not valid. Invalid number. Value is not a ...
13
votes
6answers
629 views

Should words in buttons or titles start with a capital? [duplicate]

I am currently in the process of creating an iOS application, and I was wondering about capitalization of buttons and titles. For example, should a button say "Add Post" or "Add post". If I look at ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

When searching for a course online, which start-date term has more meaning? Now or Continuous?

We're overhauling our Course Search service and the question has come up: Which has more meaning? Continuous or Now. Our UI allows choosing a course start-date from a selection menu of fixed dates. ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Appropriate language for single result on last page

I am working on a website that has paged search results. At the top of each page, I am showing where the user is in the set of pages, using the typical "Showing X - Y of Z results" language (with an ...
1
vote
4answers
67 views

Best wording to use for “General” portal in navigation

I am designing a navigation bar at the top of a web page with several buttons used for navigation. On the right side of the bar, there are two buttons pertaining to user-specific functions (log in, ...
16
votes
5answers
539 views

Why do we use informal language when the user encounters an error or issue?

Why do we use informal words like "Oops!" with users when something goes wrong? What's the reason behind using this type of language during a user's interaction with a website?
28
votes
8answers
8k views

What is the recommended wording for a generic error message

What would be the best wording for a generic error message? With generic error message I mean a message for an error that has occured but there are no details on what the error is or how to recover ...
2
votes
3answers
168 views

Wording for the “edit” link text

I'm building a website that's in many ways similar to StackExchange but more focused on other topics and differently structured. Now, I've come to the links text wording.. Particularly, the "edit" ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

Wording for the perfect verb-based “Cancel Edits” dialog?

As a subscriber to the verb-based confirmation dialogs school of thought (i.e. "Do Something", "Do Something Else" button labels being better than Yes/No), what do you think the wording of the perfect ...
3
votes
2answers
89 views

How to inform users that they need to make sure that their system audio is on and/or that its volume is up?

In an online flash project, I need a way to inform users that they need to make sure that their system audio is on and/or that its volume is up. I am thinking about using a speaker icon, but since ...
4
votes
3answers
190 views

How to make textual messages in an internal company web app casual and interesting?

I'm planning to develop a web application for our company's internal use. So I need to design the UI of the application in a casual way. My intent is to make the system interesting. An example of ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

How to make this feature clear about what it really does?

I built a service in which you can browse html/css buttons and add new ones to the collection. When on a button's detail page you can access to the code, live edit it and see the result when clicking ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

What language/wording is best to indicate the max character count on a text box has been exceeded?

Scenario After a user attempts to submit a form I am providing validation messages against any invalid fields. On one of those fields the user has gone over the max allowed character count. Example ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Spelling: Id vs. ID

I have several kinds of identifiers in my Windows desktop application. A batch identifier, a job identifier and so on. Each identifier is a unique positive integer, the value has no meaning but to ...
3
votes
4answers
103 views

Verb to indicate “de-activating account on a web site”?

I am building a web site for a company similar to a temp agency. In the site, we need a control which workers can click to indicate "I'm not interested in working for you in the foreseeable future, ...
1
vote
4answers
100 views

Alternative wording for 'pre filled' for Partially filled out PDF printout forms

This is more of a wording/content strategy issue than anything: But we have developed some on-line forms for our customers to fill out, however the top portion of the form (5 or so fields) are ...
3
votes
8answers
368 views

“Save As” vs “Clone”

We have a system where a user can view database records in a GUI application. The main purpose of the GUI is for creating and editing these records. We are now developing a feature whereby a user ...
24
votes
5answers
803 views

Should I use the terminology left/right click?

When instructing users which mouse button to click an element with, it standard practice to use the phrase 'left/right click': To download the file, 'right click' the link and choose 'Save Target ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

Singular or Plural Label for HTML Table or List

I have a grid that will contain 0, 1 or several email addresses. I would like to know what the best practice is for labeling this. Should the header read Phone Number Phone Numbers Phone ...
5
votes
5answers
467 views

“Millions of colors” vs “24-bit”: should technical concepts be simplified to ease understanding at the cost of precision?

Macs indicate 24-bit color depth by using the term "millions of colors", while Windows calls it "24-bit" or "32-bit". (I'm aware that Windows "32-bit" color simply adds an alpha channel that doesn't ...
20
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I deal with diverse gender identities in user profiles?

I'm trying to work out the wording for (preferably) a gender dropdown in a user profile of a site I'm working on. I want to be inclusive of people who don't gender orient to either male or female ( ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

When should I append a directory separator at the end of a pathname?

Directory pathnames in code can be used mostly with or without a separator character at the end. So for example, the following commands in a Unix shell are identical: ls /usr/bin ls /usr/bin/ Or ...
1
vote
1answer
199 views

How should one phrase validation error messages?

What is the best phrase to use considering that these are short error messages that is positioned right beside the labels / input they are referring to. For example, there's a missing email address, ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

What is a layman's term for internet-enabled or web-enabled?

I need a better term for internet-enabled or web-enabled that a non-technical person would understand includes their smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, smartTV, etc.
2
votes
4answers
251 views

When registering should the passwords match/don't match still be shown if the initial password isn't strong enough

In a registration page the user is asked to enter a password. There are some (simple) rules for the password, so if the user enters "123" the text "password is too simple" will appear beside the input ...
7
votes
10answers
341 views

Does the average user understand the median?

I have a bunch of statistical data and I want to present a short summary to the user (non-technical consumer). Now I want to show an average and need to decide between arithmetic mean and median. From ...
3
votes
3answers
151 views

Are there unambiguous words for alert boxes?

The words that appear on the alert boxes are sometimes ambiguous. For example, if the task is to quit the application, then an alert box with the pair of choices "Quit" and "OK", or with "Cancel" and ...
2
votes
4answers
95 views

Wording suggestions for “unhidden”, esp given translations

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" ...
6
votes
5answers
206 views

What is the most familiar wording of linking to a PDF file?

For certain industries and user-bases, it can make sense to include a link to a PDF version of a HTML web page — so that visitors can either view or download it. From a recognizability and ...
6
votes
5answers
436 views

Alternative wording to 'upgrade from free trial to a paying plan'?

Looking for an alternative to 'upgrade'. The problem is that in our web-app ui and communication, we are currently using two different versions of upgrade: the common upgrade/downgrade of the ...
2
votes
5answers
271 views

Best to say 'swipe up' or 'swipe down'?

I am building an app (iOS) which consists of paged tiles which the user has to pan through. My question: When I need to tell the user to move the content up to view the content below it, should I say ...
3
votes
3answers
436 views

Contact page. Which is the better wording?

What is the most appropriate Contact page title for a website? Contact, Contacts, Contact us or other? Contacts is used, among others, in iOS and Android. Seems to me more related to a list of ...
5
votes
2answers
195 views

Is there a better label for the “OK” button in message boxes with just one button?

Having read "Should I use Yes/No or Ok/Cancel on my message box?", I do understand that message boxes with two or more buttons should use verbs instead of e.g. Yes and No. To further improve the user ...
5
votes
5answers
227 views

Is “<Object name>: <quantity>” notation acceptable in most popular localization?

This question was originally asked in the linguistics SE (which is not a good place to ask this kinds of thing). Full question follows I follow the software localization guideline, that states ...
26
votes
7answers
1k views

How to phrase button labels?

How should I phrase the following button labels: "Import image" or "Import an image"? "Create app" or "Create an app"? "Add description" or "Add a description"? If you could also supply the ...
4
votes
1answer
193 views

Startup screens: “Show this page at startup” vs. “Don't show this on startup”

I'm currently working on an iOS app where the user is presented with a startup screen until the user disables it. I am insisting that this startup screen should have an already ticked checkbox that ...
7
votes
3answers
215 views

“Activate” / “Enable” + “noun verbing” or simply “Verb noun”?

A popular chatting application has the global option "Enable buddy icon animation". Would this be better phrased as "Animate buddy icon" or not? And if so, is this a general rule? For example, ...
5
votes
3answers
280 views

Should field labels be nouns or verbs?

On a web form should field labels be nouns or verbs? This issue arose from two fields on an account request form that currently read: Temporary Password Re-Enter Temporary Password There is debate ...
7
votes
3answers
257 views

When offering options, at which position in a sentence should be the desirable one?

When I ask the user a question with two options of which I want the user to choose a specific one, should I formulate the sentence so that the desired option it the latter or the other way around? ...
6
votes
3answers
138 views

Graphic content label

I'm working on a project in which we are labeling content to inform, not warn, the user (editors) that videos contain nudity, death, violence or adult language. We are not trying to discourage ...
4
votes
3answers
125 views

Word for a group of numbers?

I have a list of different numbers/ID's related to a company and right now I am using the title ID's to group them but I feel that this title may not be the best. Does anyone know of any better words ...