In the document management world, here is the typical way to edit a document:

  1. Check out (the document is now locked by me and made available locally)
  2. Edit
  3. Check in (the document is saved back to the repository)

In my UI, I have a special tab for operations 1 and 3.
I named the tab "Check out / check in" because that reflects the action sequence.

But the more I repeat it, the weirder it sounds.
Should I rename the tab to "Check in / check out" because it sounds better in English?

CmisSync check in check out

  • I think the OP is asking about the tab label not the buttons ? – Toni Leigh Jul 1 '14 at 7:49
  • My suggestion is to Change it to "Check In/Out" so you dont repeat the "Check" Twice and Delete "Cancel Check Out" and do it like this --- "Check in" (first button) -- "Cancel" (second Button) without the inverted commas. Keep it simple because you already have a header "The document is currently Check out". Perhaps change the color to blue for "The Document is ...." so it stands out a bit more – Tasos Jul 1 '14 at 7:49
  • Yes I am asking specifically about the tab label. Other feedback is very welcome, maybe in chat, where I actually asked for general feedback a few hours ago. Thanks a lot! :-) – Nicolas Raoul Jul 1 '14 at 7:56
  • If the documents are about Mars rovers that's pretty cool :-) – Toni Leigh Jul 1 '14 at 8:18

If you have a specialist group of users and that's what they do then name the tab for them, not for you or for English speakers. Ie if they check out then check in the call the tab that.

Remember the classic usability heuristic 'use language the user is familiar with'. Reflect what they do with your UI. Number 2 on this list 'Match between the system and the real world' covers this: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/

To some extent however mechanical memory will take over with power users doing a task often. You might want to consider replacing the tab button combo with just a couple of buttons.

PS, don't forget that when you are using a term over and over again in a development or design environment it can become a bit meaningless - this puts you in a less favourable position to judge it's usefulness. A mild form of semantic satiation perhaps. Ask your users whether the term is correct to them.

| improve this answer | |

You know when the UI is shown whether the document is currently checked out or not, so name the tab for the action the user currently needs:


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Your issues with naming of the tab go away, and the UX likely more closely represents the goals of your end users.

(For simplicity of implementation, create three tabs and hide the one you don't need.)

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.