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I'm facing a consistency problem on my current project. The name of the same page differs from place to place.

For example, a page with the calendar events has title My events, a sidebar menu link is Calendar, and a breadcrumb item is Events.

Are there any guidelines or conventions about page titles consistency?

Should the titles, which represent the exact same page be identical in all places?

Inconsistent titles

enter image description here

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    Do you have a reason for them to be inconsistent? – maxathousand Oct 4 '16 at 21:00
  • @maxathousand There is a possibility to see events of others by changing a tab, so some users find it more clearly to have "My events" title for own events. – rpavlyk Oct 4 '16 at 21:12
  • Your image has no consistency issues. Is this your proposed fix? – Andre Dickson Oct 5 '16 at 7:08
  • @AndreDickson Yes, this is how I see it. – rpavlyk Oct 5 '16 at 7:11
  • Ok. Consider including an image with the inconsistencies as well. Question is a bit confusing with this image alone. – Andre Dickson Oct 5 '16 at 7:47
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Sidebar, breadcrumb, and tabs are kinds of navigation, like street signs. Users read them to reach certain parts of your application and to determine where they are right now.

That's why I cannot imagine any good reason to have different terms in these places (but surely there are bad reasons, e.g., "different teams designed/implemented it"). Please add reasons you would consider valid to choose different terms.

If one page shows the user's own events, it could be labelled "My Events" instead of just "Events", but I don't see why it should be reachable by a navigation item that is called "Events". If you use "Events" to navigate to the "My Events" page, you mislead users who are looking for other people's events or public events.

UPDATE:

If you have an "Events" page without using it as a title (because the top element are the tabs "My Events" and "Shared Events"), I guess this is understandable. [UPDATED UPDATE: I would consider this only for mobile devices, where there are severe space restrictions. Always use a full page header on a desktop page.]

It would be less understandable if the navigation uses "Calendar". If you cannot find very similar terms for the tabs, add a page title.

Alternatively, if there are not too many navigation entries already, you can put "My Events" and "Shared Events" into the navigation.

  • What if there are two tabs on events page - My events and Shared events. What term should I use then in sidebar, breadcrumbs etc? – rpavlyk Oct 5 '16 at 7:23
  • Oh, I see the point in your question. Updating my answer. – virtualnobi Oct 5 '16 at 7:30
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    @RomanPavlyk whatever the page is titled. You can't have a page without a title and a page can't be titled after a tab heading. – Andre Dickson Oct 5 '16 at 7:43
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Yes, if the titles aren't consistent users may encounter difficulty determining where they are in your application. The Nielsen Norman group talks about using navigation for location signaling i.e. to help users understand where they are.

In a world where search engines can drop your website visitors anywhere, it's important to signal where users are in the information space, so they can navigate from there successfully. Even when visitors arrive via the homepage, they may need orientation as they traverse the site.

If the sidebar link is titled Calendar but the user is trying to get back to a page titled My Events it may take the user a while to find their way back. If the titles are inconsistent the effectiveness of the navigation will be impaired.

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