I have seen these different phrases on various websites and I was wondering which one sounds warmer, more inviting and more trustworthy? Which is more user-friendly?

Personally I don't understand "pick a new password" because it sounds more like the user is expected to choose a password from a list of given options.

  • 1
    Do you even want it to be friendly? If it's too friendly then it might just come across as optional, but if it's actually important then something more instructional is possibly better. – JonW Sep 3 '14 at 15:12
  • Right, In my opinion, changing password is thought to be important, as it is not something you do for fun and it need to be worded short and right to the point. What would be your preferences? Which one is better than other? – Ganbayar Gansukh Sep 3 '14 at 15:28
  • My opinion is - I think you're overthinking this. I'd be surprised if anyone saw a message and decided "That message was way too angry, I'm not going to change my password out of protest!". Just make it clear, brief and obvious. – JonW Sep 3 '14 at 15:37
  • lol. Yes, probably I'm overthinking. I had an experience while ago with a website, I couldn't find a way to change my password under account settings where changing password option usually exists. It immediately created a frustration as I couldn't find simple wording to do what I was looking for. But it was written as "pick a new password". I think we scans word "change" when we meant to change something as opposed to "pick" which is more physical verb. – Ganbayar Gansukh Sep 3 '14 at 15:58

Pick a new password

Bad. You pick something from an existing collection. In the case of password you don't really pick one - the phrase does not correspond to the action.

Change your password

The 'your' is verbose. What other password than yours you may change?

That's way you 'add to basket' and not 'add to your basket' or 'add to your basket on this amazon site'; and that's why you 'edit' and not 'edit this post'.

The brain is associative machine; if the 'edit' link is next to a post, gestalt principle of proximity has it that 'edit' means 'edit the post closest to the link' and not 'edit the post two posts below'.

Same goes for writing - "Leonardo da Vinci was born in Italy. He also died there." and not "Leonardo da Vinci was born in Italy. Leonardo da Vinci also died in Italy."

I don't accept the argument that 'your' makes it more friendly. What's more, you want to be friendly in marketing copies, but when it comes to task-based behaviour you want to be concise.

Change password

Short. Straight to the point. Clear.

It doesn't matter much

Despite all that is said above, I do feel the need to assert that a user who wishes to change her password would care little about these variations - all three options will do the job.

But if you define usability as the amount of effort a user has to expand in order to perform a task, and effort includes cognitive interpretation effort, then the "Change password" is the most usable one.

  • This is the answer and explanation that I was really waiting for. Thank you for explaining in depth :) – Ganbayar Gansukh Sep 5 '14 at 13:22

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