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So our current product does not have titles for pages at all. Talking with the dev team, they feel like page titles are not necessary and take up too much screen space. Anyone have validation on this? We have over 30+ screen flows and none of them are named. Some are named but the consistency is not there.

I'm trying to bring it to the standard that we need to have page titles for each page so that every page is known and traceable for support to direct users with and also giving the user reference to where they are at in the product.

  • By page title, do you mean the title tag in the HTML or are you talking about on-page content such as an h1? – DA01 Apr 3 '15 at 15:17
  • @DA01 literally when you go to a page (On Page Content), and the title of the page being visible on screen. this is for a web-based software design that would help guide the user to determine which page they are on to determine the task or assessment needed for the page. – Atlas Apr 3 '15 at 15:23
  • Well, the primary justification for page titles is wayfinding. It let's the user know where they are. Your developer's opinions don't make much sense. It'd be like a bookstore without any of the books having titles on the cover. – DA01 Apr 3 '15 at 15:41
  • Yes exactly. I shouldn't have to justify my decision but I need some sort of documentation that says we need this @DA01 – Atlas Apr 3 '15 at 15:58
  • that, unfortunately, is a toxic work environment. So, I sympathize. There are organizations that believe that UX is pure science and that only data can make decisions. If you need actual documentation, you probably need to look at 'web content strategy'. There's several books out there on the topic. – DA01 Apr 3 '15 at 16:03
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If I understood you correctly, you should tell your dev team, that users should have a clear navigational path.

Clear navigation is a must, it can be designed with Page titles or Breadcrumbs, or additional navigational items, but users should always understand where they are. Confusing navigation always increases percentage of users that goes away.

Breadcrumbs can be a good alternatative for you, if you don't have much space for Titles.

Here are some best practices for it: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/03/17/breadcrumbs-in-web-design-examples-and-best-practices/

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Page Titles are also very important for responsive sites that hide (collapse) navigation menus for mobile/tablet devices etc.

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  • thanks for the suggestion. we currently only support desktop and not doing mobile devices. – Atlas Apr 3 '15 at 19:23
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Given the ubiquity of page titles, the right question to ask is, why do your devs not want page titles?

Unless you have a one-page app (eg a calculator) or an expert system (eg a professional stock trading application where users are highly trained), page titles are quite important:

  • To anchor user orientation around the application, particularly if the page looks similar to any others.
  • To provide a clear name for the page for use in collaboration, training, and documentation.
  • To communicate intent for a page.

Devs often think in terms of product rather than in terms of users, so a frequent mistake is to assume users know the product as well as the dev team, and conclude that there's no need for a title.

In reality, users utilize many applications infrequently or episodically, so cues and anchors like titles and breadcrumbs can be very useful.

YMMV based on the user base and use patterns for your app.

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  • Thanks for the reply. I personally believe the page flows are distinct but not obvious enough to direct a user which would validate my reasoning behind needing to name the page. Often found that devs assume people know the product immensly which is a bad assumption to me if we're trying to gain mass appeal. – Atlas Apr 6 '15 at 15:17

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