We're working on a video conferencing platform that allows users to upload private and public files.

What copy is typically used for public and private sections?

Below are some ideas:

  • Viewable by everyone / Only viewable by you
  • Everyone can see this / Only you can see this
  • Everyone can see files in this section / Only you can see files in this section

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


Your ideas are pretty clear and my hunch is that they would work well for most users. However, you might want to consider the context and the specific user actions related to your platform. It's also important to consider the tone of voice that fits your brand and resonates with your target audience.

Here are a few other ideas:

For public files:

  • Public - Visible to everyone
  • Shared - Accessible to all participants
  • Open Access - All attendees can view these files
  • Community Files - Available to everyone in the meeting

For private files:

  • Private - Only visible to you
  • Personal - Only you can access these files
  • My Files - Private and only accessible by you
  • Confidential - Only you can view these files

Once you've decided on the copy, I'd recommend some "think aloud" task-based user testing to ensure your option labels are understood as intended. For example, mockup your prototype with the selected option labels, and present the scenarios to your participants while asking them to say out loud what they're thinking as they perform the task:

Task 1

Imagine that you want to upload a video that anyone can see. What would you click to do that?

Task 2

Imagine that you want to upload a private video that only you can see. What would you click to do that?

Then you could see how many participants click the correct option for the task, and how long it takes them to make the choice. The think aloud aspect of this would be very helpful, so you could pick up on any patterns around confusion or reluctance across your participants.

  • 1
    "Open Access", in the context of academia, means something quite different, so if that's a significant part of the target market, it might be better to pick one of the other terms. And "Public" can mean broader sharing than the meeting attendees, so the tier you call "public" might need to be subdivided
    – Chris H
    May 16, 2023 at 6:56
  • "Confidential" sounds wrong. It does not imply that you are the only one able to view this, only that you should not share it with anyone else. At least for a file that is shared with you, not one that you are sharing with the service.
    – Bergi
    May 16, 2023 at 9:00

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