Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

328

The reason I believe it is important to have an apologetic tone is to ensure you are communicating to the user that, though a mistake has been made and he is interacting with a machine or application in this case, you still respect his action and are humanizing the mistake. To quote this article from UXMatters: “You’re going to display your error ...


284

My suggestion: never use the word "Cancel" in the default action. To cancel a subscription, you can, for example, say "Remove Subscription" or "Unsubscribe." To cancel a download, you can, for example, say "Stop Downloading". To cancel a setting, you can, for example, say "Revert Settings".


157

Most of the other answers here seem to be focusing on accessibility, which is fine, but is hardly the point. Screen readers are what? Less than 5% of the market for a general website? The reason "Here" and "Click Here" are bad is because they are useless words. They provide no context. This isn't an accessibility issue; it is a usability issue. There's an ...


142

Here's what Facebook does when cancelling a payment subscription (Facebook subscription API). There's no reliance on Yes/No. There's no misleading use of the word cancel. Clear explanation and buttons that clearly define the impending action. Then they clearly confirm what just happened. Skype on the other hand shows what not to do. Much confusion! ...


138

The Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications is quoted by Business Writing as suggesting: Restructure the sentence so that the address is not at the end of the sentence. Set off the address, like this, with no period (full stop): Please visit my website at: www.syntaxtraining.com However the same site also ...


124

When links were new (think 1995), designers felt that it was necessarily to let people know that something was a link by saying "here". I'm not sure if it was ever necessary, but it is not necessary now. When people see text formatted as a link, they know it's a link. Using "here" as the link text gives no context (which is especially bad for screen ...


83

In "Homepage Usability", Jakob Nielsen (together with Marie Tahir, 2002, p. 53) recommends the use of "sign in" / "sign out" over "log in" / "log out". This is empirically based on a survey of several large-scale websites and thus supports OP's "more common" argument. Furthermore, I second @Dan Barak in that you should use "Register" or "Join ...


81

While Mervin's answer is excellent, I would go beyond saying it is "acceptable" or "preferred". I would say you "must" use an apologetic tone for one very good reason: if the user is making a mistake, it is because the user does not understand the rules or logic of the system. That is not the fault of the user! It is responsibility of the system to ...


79

"Like" is Facebook's creation and is strongly associated with Facebook. +1 is Google+'s creation and is totally associated with its brand. Thinking out of the box... It seems your functionality is not exactly the same as "liking". It's more "like & follow". There is no single word for that, so alternatively you could invent your own vocabulary. ...


74

I would say that "New" is best in most situations, as it is short and distinct. A good rule of thumb is to look at the other options you will have in your menu. You want to make scanning fast, so you want to make each option as distinct as possible. Here is a crude example of what I mean: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq ...


71

MS Windows User Experience Interaction Guidelines suggests the following: “Use the second person (you, your) to tell users what to do.” So use second person for error messages, help, window or page labels, on-page documentation, and other places where the app is telling the user about the user’s content. “Use the first person (I, me, my) to let users tell ...


61

Your users have a point here. Being called a 'user' is similar to being 'the patient with the broken leg in room 213' instead of Mr Smith (or even worse: just 'the broken leg'), or a 'test subject' in a psychological experiment. Don Norman recommends calling them 'people', it's a very general term but it works. Depending on the context you can also consider ...


57

If the user has intentionally disabled Javascript, it's probably because they explicitly want to avoid sites that "make heavy use of javascript" and would thus have a bad impression of such a statement. Explaining to them what they're missing is the best way to convince them to change. Clearly state what they're missing. Chances are there's some good reason ...


57

Let them know what has happened. Here are some situations with longer, clear example notifications that use proper English grammar: Only the name changed The task "foobar" has been successfully renamed to "dummy". Only the data changed The task "foobar" has been successfully updated. The name and the data changed The task "foobar" has been ...


51

Don't use My or Your. In most cases it's obvious whose they are. The only case you might want to do it is to differentiate e.g. between the user's documents and everyone's documents. In that case I would follow the Microsoft guidelines cited by Michael and use "Your Documents" and "All Documents". One of the worst UI bloopers in Windows XP is the use of ...


49

One aspect of this is accessibility. You don't get any context from the link itself. You can see further info on wc3: http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/noClickHere: When calling the user to action, use brief but meaningful link text that: provides some information when read out of context explains what the link offers -doesn't talk about ...


48

Taking a step back: Why was this feature made available (visible) to the user in the first place? If it is a feature not available to a specific user (or user class), hide it. If it is a premium feature that you'd like to upsell - do so. History export is a great way to backup your data, but is available on premium accounts only. Get in touch with ...


47

"Please" is common in short instructions, because the alternative sounds too brisk and bossy ("Save the file", "Click the button"). However, I don't like either form of instruction because they don't make clear how the action fits into the user's aims. Rather than an instruction like 'Choose a filename' or even 'Please choose a filename', I'm drawn instead ...


45

It is not only a problem with copy/paste. If Thunderbird (among others) receives a plain text message with an URL, it will transform it to a clickable URL, including the end period, as it is valid in an URL. A number of other punctuation characters are also legal, so care must be used. Tradition in such plain text messages is to surround the URL with < ...


45

Ok I might be on to something: "New" is good for buttons that take the user to a clean "canvas", where the user can add his content. "Create" is good for buttons that "submit" the user's content or input (either into a database or to some public platform). In other words, "New" doesn't suggest that you're actually creating anything. It just sets the ...


42

If you feel like jumping the action (click/tap) you can directly say "Select" the ... Rather than a generic word, I would suggest you try to check what device the person is using and then say "click/tap" appropriate for the platform. But, then come the devices with both, a peripheral device and touch capability, which make this situation awkward-ish. You ...


42

Personally I like love which is often represented by an icon of a heart and popular in social media. Then you dont have to write the word love but simply use the heart. But if you don't like the heart icon, you can always find a synonym from Thesaurus.com:


40

If it's clear, say it in the least number of words possible. If there is no confusion, then there is no problem. "Import image" - clear. "Create app" - clear. "Add description" - clear. For further reading, I suggest the Android Writing Style.


39

It should show "Joe Soap." Showing a pronoun instead of a name breaks up the flow of the list. It's possible that someone other than "me" will end up reading the list. For example, maybe it will be printed out and distributed to others. Using a pronoun draws attention to the software ("Look how clever I am, I recognize you!") rather than the user's goals. ...


38

Log in / out is more technical sounding than sign in / out. That said, I don't think there is any confusion with either one of them. The last time I looked at major sites using log v. sign it was a pretty even split between them. I would opt for sign in / out simply because it is more human speak. Regarding Join, Register and Sign up. They each have ...


38

A few of my guesses: Numbers are harder to anthropomorphize - we've reached a point with our understanding of computers where we regularly refer to the computer as another being we regularly interact with. It's much easier to give this creature some kind of name vs. a number, especially given that numbers are often used to "dehumanize" things and make them ...


36

It emphasizes the wrong part of the text, like this. Links tend to be visually distinctive, and draw the eye. (Less so now that they're not underlined in most cases.) But the 'here' is the least important part of the text, really, and so the link disrupts the reading flow.


35

Name the buttons for what they do. If the default is "cancel", then cancel the cancel should be something simple like "Don't cancel". I know that it's not ideal to use the word 'cancel' in both of them, but it's the clearest option in this unique situation, and clarity is far more important. Edit: Some good suggestions from the comments below are to ...


34

You have to go with the first option (stating that the "username or password is invalid"), and this has nothing to do with security. Let's say that I usually use JohnGB as my username, but on your service someone else has that username, so I use JohnGB123 instead. Say I've then forgotten my username and I enter JohnGB as my username, but use my correct ...


32

Not clear why "user" is dehumanizing. I never heard of a user that wasn't human, although I guess it's possible. Is it also dehumanizing to call someone who operates a car a "driver"? Maybe "user" has acquire certain negative connotations in your organization because of the attitude of certain (perhaps former) members of IT --those that say "user" with a ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible