My app shows a list of items that require the user's attention, and allows to "archive" some of them, and access the archived items later (like in Gmail)

I can't figure out a name for the "Non Archived" items (which are displayed by default). In gmail it is called "Inbox", but my app is not about emails.

Any ideas?

  • "Current" ?....
    – PhillipW
    Jan 26 '15 at 9:16
  • 2
    "Active" or "To be viewed" or "Received" Jan 26 '15 at 9:51
  • “Fresh”, “hot”, “(a)live”, “front …”, “agenda”, “work items”, “popular”, “stock”
    – Crissov
    Jan 26 '15 at 13:43
  • 1
    What's your app about then? Maybe there's an equivalent for inbox. Jan 26 '15 at 21:34
  • 1
    @PS86 No, it's not. The question is not about how to say something in English. It is on how to say something in a way that users will understand and not get confused. In other words - how to improve user experience.
    – Tzach
    May 14 '15 at 7:09

If you have a common default state, then you don't have to mark that default state. Instead you indicate when the state differs from the default.

The default state of an item is "unarchived", so you it would be strange to have to relate a default state to a non-default state. It would be like marking files that haven't been deleted on your computer as "not deleted". There is no need as everything is not-deleted unless it is deleted.

As long as you're clearly indicating the documents that are archived, I wouldn't call the other documents anything.

  • This makes sense. However in my app the archived items screen is visually replacing the default screen, and there must be a way to go back to the default screen, a link for example. In your files example, imagine that in any given time you can only view the recycle bin or the not-deleted files, how would you go back to the not-deleted?
    – Tzach
    Jan 26 '15 at 12:51
  • @Tzach You don't have to name where you're going in that case, just name where you're leaving. "Exit recycle bin" or "leave archives" are all more clear than trying to name the unnamed.
    – JohnGB
    Jan 27 '15 at 9:30

Don't name the unnamed. Instead reference only the named.

  • Leave Archive
  • Close Archive View

or something similar.


We have decided to go with "Need Attention" and "Archived". We tested it with our users and it works ok.

We also tried "Active" before, but it was confusing, because the items we display can be "Active" and "Closed" regardless on their location in my app.

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