In a CMS, objects can have slugs, i.e. parts of URLs to identify the object at the website, for example my-institution is a slug in the http:­//www.example.com/institutions/my-institution/. Slugs are prefered identifiers for SEO and user experience. However, what is the best understandable way to display a slug in a form for the website users who can create their institutions?

(I am considering the terms "slug" or "permalink" too technical and would like to find some good alternative).

  • So you need a synonym and not a way to design the slug field, isn't it? Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 17:34
  • Unique Identifier ?
    – PhillipW
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 20:12
  • Either a good synonym or some best-practice GUI element. Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 22:54
  • Do the users know about SEO and care about UX? If not, this field is not for them to fill in. No "best understood" term or implementation can fix that.
    – jazZRo
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 4:34
  • According to my understanding, UX should provide the most self explanatory workflows without any deeper knowledge of technical terms whenever possible. SEO is a technical area only important for the functionality of the website. Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 20:19

3 Answers 3


Of course “slug” is too technical, but it’s also too general. A word like “slug” is good for talking about a sort of field. Given instances of the field have their own names.

You don’t need to explain “slugs” — just show the user what is happening

Ask for what specifically you want the user to enter: in this case, the short name of the university.

  • Provide a normal text field for the user to enter the institution name.
  • Provide instructions that this will be used to create the website URL (understanding only some folks will read this).
  • Display the resulting URL prominently on the page, labeled “this will by your web address.” This should update as the user types, translating spaces to hyphens, etc.
  • If the short name exceeds a certain length, pop up a message encouraging the user to keep the name as brief as possible.

Your users will then be able to discover what they’re creating.


If the slug is short, just display it. If the slug is long, truncate it and place a button with the option "Copy" or "See" (text/ icon) after. Slug is ok as term and you can display a note with the meaning.


You could use chips to both represent and edit a long slug, provided the full Url is displayed somewhere, Something like this could work:

enter image description here

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