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

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379
votes
15answers
49k 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 ...
72
votes
10answers
6k views

'My Account' or 'Your Account'?

I want to put a link to an account page in a toolbar. What person should I use to refer to the user's settings? Should I call it 'My Account' or 'Your Account'? I've seen both is use, and I'm not sure ...
37
votes
13answers
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
24
votes
5answers
809 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 ...
21
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 ( ...
16
votes
5answers
542 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?
15
votes
8answers
3k views

Should a Landing Page tell the User how to Pronounce the Company's Name? [on hold]

I was recently reading a particular startup's website. The very first line goes: "Company (pronounced Com-Pa-Nee) is [description]." The big question is: is it appropriate to tell the user how to ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

“Sign Up” vs “Create an Account”

Which pick is better for a service? Especially if I would like the website to resemble American style. Gmail and Dropbox say: "Sign In or create an account" Yahoo says: "Sign In. New here? Sign ...
13
votes
7answers
318 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
630 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
316 views

What do you think is a better label “New” or “Add”

At the moment I am building a web application that stores a lot of data inside of tables. In each of the pages containing the tables the users have many actions; they can add, delete, or edit the ...
11
votes
4answers
495 views

How should I name the paid app VS unpaid app on mobile devices?

I will be releasing a paid and unpaid version of my app on iPhone and Android. How should I name these two versions? Some popular choices I've seen are: Namezilla Free + Namezilla Namezilla Lite + ...
9
votes
5answers
295 views

Word to indicate moving from “Draft” to “Live”

I'm looking for a friendly, widely understood word to indicate that something is going from a "Draft" state into a "Live" state. The difference between these two states is that once it is "Live" ...
9
votes
3answers
268 views

Is active voice or passive voice preferable for a computer UI?

In an Ubuntu installer bug I mention that this text: You need to restart the computer. ...should be changed to: The computer needs to be restarted. The developer objected based on the ...
9
votes
7answers
1k views

“All” vs. “Any” for a choice which indicates lack of filtering

I have a table of items that can be filtered by many aspects, one of which, for example, is status. The filter is represented by a dropdown, where the default option is to not filter by any status. ...
9
votes
2answers
240 views

How do you test phrasing of labels, links, and descriptive text?

At my workplace, an academic library, we often have extended conflicts over exactly how to phrase labels, links, and descriptive text. For example, one link on our home page goes to a list of topics, ...
8
votes
6answers
485 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Error-message to indicate invalid data has been entered?

Sorry for the subjective question.... I'm working on the micro-copy that appears on a web-form when a user submits invalid data: eg: invalid date/time. We've used inline validation and date time ...
7
votes
3answers
259 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? ...
7
votes
3answers
216 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, ...
7
votes
10answers
344 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
616 views

“Doesn't look like a valid…” versus “..is invalid”

I'm not designing anything at the moment but this thought popped into my head earlier. What do you think would be the pros/cons of wording validation errors as: "This doesn't look like a valid phone ...
6
votes
5answers
439 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
140 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 ...
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
4answers
1k views

Why write “Polite Notice” on a sign?

I was parking my car this morning, and saw a sign attached to someone's front gate... Polite Notice: Do not park in front of these gates at any time. ...and I wondered about why the author ...
5
votes
5answers
468 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
8answers
476 views

The right wording for “close”

The company I work for (based in the UK) is building a piece of software for iOS, and they use "Dismiss" instead of "Close", "Exit", "Cancel", etc. for the button to close the page at hand. I find ...
5
votes
5answers
352 views

Best wording of “blank” option for an optional select?

For <select> elements that require the user to select at least one option, basic wording for the "blank" option is fairly easy: "Select..." or something similar. However, for <select> ...
5
votes
3answers
281 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
354 views

Login wording: be terse?

I'm working on this login page: It has three "phrases" with more than 1 word, namely: Log in to your account Forgot your password? Create a new account. I have minimalist tendencies and would ...
5
votes
2answers
196 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
4answers
581 views

Alternative term to “Blacklist” and “Whitelist”

In short, my company is developing a management tool for managing SIM cards. One of the features of the tool is to block the SIM card if it's put into a none allowed device by device IMEI validation. ...
5
votes
2answers
89 views

Wording for rating something: imply next action?

Imagine an app that presents a number of questions and answers to a user. After each question the user can rate the answer (easy/medium/hard). Based on the rating, the question is either: Not shown ...
4
votes
4answers
418 views

What makes sense to designers HiDPI, @2x, or Retina?

I'm designing a web application for web designers and I'm having some trouble with semantics. I'm trying to figure out whether the word "HiDPI", "@2x", or "Retina" best describes the secondary image a ...
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
175 views

The term “User Experience” in sales

This might be redundant, but I'm curious about the end user's experience when they read the phrase "User Experience". I've seen a number of websites say that they design the best user experience, but ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
537 views

ux review word for select all

Is is ok to use Select/Deselect All here or better to shorten it to only select all. Would the users know that if they uncheck the "select all" checkbox. Everything will be disselected
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
192 views

How does individual vs pluralistic language affect community?

Pluralistic Imagine our goal is creation of a community environment (perhaps such as UX.stackexchange). Through our word choices, we can choose individual or pluralistic expressions - and the words ...
4
votes
3answers
324 views

Best way to organize interface

I have an application where users can select some items from a catalogue and add into their reports. Some users prefer to add positions one by one, first opening the catalogue, adding a new ...
3
votes
8answers
370 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
441 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
174 views

What to call a 'multi-valued string attribute' for the end user?

I am asking users to handle entities (here a subject) with multiple attributes. The first attribute shown here is a numeric value. The second is multi-valued text. desired experience: 1.5 desired ...
3
votes
4answers
105 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, ...