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I am working on the labels of a webshop content management system. For some of the labels, I feel the need to have more than one word to make it concise, even though I know this is not nice because labels become longer.

Examples of these are the following menu items:

  • Visitors and customers
  • Purchase and sales
  • Navigation and search
  • Setup and settings

I tried to find a grouping word to replace them by one in each case, but I couldn't.

Is having two words connected with the "and" a bad practice? Is it ok to replace the "and" by the "&" to make it shorter?

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Yes it is bad practice. You will limit the user in quickly scanning the menu items, as they have to read the entire label.

Try grouping them in one label name, include an extra name you want people to see that before clicking on it (e.g. search)

You might consider the following list: - Visitors - Sales - Navigation & search - Settings

In case you still want the two names to appear, use the '&'-sign instead of text. This will separate the words better and does require less effort to distinguish from the text.

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  • I will follow your advice about using the "&". About "Visitors" maybe I will stick to only "Customers"... for the target users, probably a visitor is already a customer, even though s/he haven't bought anything yet. Same goes for "Sales". I feel there are things I would assign more to "Purchase" than "Sales" (e.g. shopping basket settings), but still "Sales" is connected somehow. I am probably over thinking all labels too much, trying to make sure they mean exactly what they contain.
    – Carina
    Apr 3 '14 at 10:04
  • I also observed you did not use capitals for the second word after "&", which is grammatically correct... but would it be a good idea to use capitals in the second word to facilitate the scanning of the words?
    – Carina
    Apr 3 '14 at 10:05

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