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Consider these two identical tasks, but each with a different guidance prompt:

First Person

enter image description here

Third Person

enter image description here

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?
  • When is one more appropriate than another?
  • Which is clearer, or is easiest for users to understand?
  • 1
    Take a look at a couple of these discussions too: ux.stackexchange.com/search?q=my+your – Jørn E. Angeltveit Dec 17 '15 at 9:03
  • Thanks Jorn, those are related and good information, but this is more about instructions and guidance than labels. – richard Dec 18 '15 at 21:16
  • My $.02, if the question comes at the end like your first example I think it looks a lot better, but for some prompts you may have to use "fill in the blank" type questions. "I would like to coach for the ____ season" a) spring b) fall which to me looks much messier than the second route "Which season would you like to coach for?" – DasBeasto Feb 3 '16 at 19:18
  • Google Material Design guide recommends Third Person. google.com/design/spec/style/writing.html – K7Buoy Feb 3 '16 at 21:49
  • Second Person - You are registering as a... – Bob Stein Jun 11 at 19:20
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Whatever you choose, I'd say that the most important is to stick with your choice. Consistency is more important to me.

That being said, it looks like the majority of designers use the first-person choice : https://twitter.com/smashingmag/status/679033654329417729 (answers to this tweets are also interesting).

To me it could depend on:

  • the context: if there's an avatar next to the word "account",the word "my" could be skipped
  • the audience: using first person language could be more reassuring for young or old people
  • the interface: on mobile, we can't always afford two more letters "my"
  • the tone: in your first example, there's some kind of personification, or role playing (maybe more adapted to games for example?) instead of dialog in the second one

In some cases, both can be useful. For example, you could have a first link "recipes" that goes on the list of all recipes ; almost next to it, you could have a "my recipes" link that goes to all the recipes I posted. That two letters would remove any ambiguity.

In the case you're describing, I don't have any personal preference, as long as every question in the form follow the same scheme. It's really micro-UX so it would also be difficult to A/B test it...

Interested to know what you finally chose, and why.

NB: Actually, I'm not even sure I read the question in your examples (maybe just scanned the word "register") because it's really short and answers are really obvious. So, it might not be that important ;)

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