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Upon reading the "Navigation" chapter of Don't Make Me Think, I saw the point 'The name needs to match what I clicked.'

Obviously, this is a book of guidelines and is not law, but I'm confused about the situation when using a Call-To-Action button as a form of navigation to a new page. The CTA should normally be an imperative verb phrase, but having a title of a page being a verb doesn't make much sense. The page title should be a noun.

Would one just use a noun form of the verb phrase for the page title?

Example:

Button Text: "Map Streams"

Page Title: "Stream Mapping"

Edit: I feel the difference is obvious enough to be warranted, but I'd like to have the opinions of others.

  • Buttons are for actions though, not navigation (well, traditionally speaking anyway). – JonW Mar 2 '15 at 15:22
  • Maybe traditionally, but tradition is not the end-all anymore. Look at this page, for instance. We do have a button next to the comment box saying "Add Comment" - this is an action that does not navigate, as you say. However, if you look at the top right of the page, there is a button that says "Ask Question". That does navigate to a new page where you can ask a question (This page does not have a title, however). – Fedoranimus Mar 2 '15 at 15:25
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I don't necessarily see an issue with a page title being a verb phrase, if it accurately describes what's happening. The example given in the question ("Map Streams") seems perfectly valid to me.

That said, I can think of other examples where it would not be logical for the page title to match the referring call-to-action. If I press a "Go to checkout" button, I would expect the resulting page title to be "Checkout" and not "Go to checkout".

The spirit of the guideline is simply that the title of a page should provide reassuring feedback that the user has arrived at the right place.

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  • Well to be pedantic here, 'Checkout' is the noun, as in the place where you pay. Whereas 'check out' is the verb - you are completing a 'check out'. So you check out at the checkout. – JonW Mar 2 '15 at 15:39
  • @JonW That was my point. I would expect the title of the checkout to be the noun. – Matt Obee Mar 2 '15 at 15:42
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Link labels that match page titles are a clear navigation cue for users. However, page titles are often longer than what can be used in a navigation set. In that case, I try to use at least one of the key words from the page title in the link label. You have a bit more space in buttons and CTAs to be descriptive, but you should always tell the user what to expect when she follows a link. NNG goes into a bit more detail in A Link is a Promise.

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