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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? – Madalina Taina Oct 21 '16 at 17:34
  • Unique Identifier ? – PhillipW Oct 21 '16 at 20:12
  • Either a good synonym or some best-practice GUI element. – Aidas Bendoraitis Oct 21 '16 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 Oct 22 '16 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. – Aidas Bendoraitis Oct 22 '16 at 20:19
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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.

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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.

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

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