9 luglio 2013

Terminology loves U(X)

So you just realised that in the same website you found "Login"and "Log in".  Do you hesitate (like me) when choosing between Sign In and Sign Up?

The same button was labeled “Submit” in a page and “Save” in another?  Did you find “New” and  “Create” when uploading new content to your blog?

If “module”, “plugin” or “extension” are used to refer to one same concept, they might raise terminology inconsistencies in UX (User Experience).

Keep It Short and Sweet

The website has to speak the same language as its audience. Technical people tend to think terms like “stack overflow” and “fatal exception” make perfect sense. There should be more attention on how users think about what those buttons and words mean to them.

How to avoid terminology inconsistencies in websites?
  • Dear developer, put yourself in the shoes of the person who is accessing the website. You have to be able to use a terminology that can be undestood by the users.
  • Check always that your website adopts the technical standards of the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) and  the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
  • The standard terms and their definitions are given in platform style guides, such as the ones for Windows [Microsoft Corp., 2006], Macintosh [Apple Computer, 2006], and Java [Sun Microsystems, 2001] and the -standard User interface (UI) vocabulary for target platform (Microsoft Language Portal). TAUS Data is also very helpful.
If you (developer) are too busy for dealing with this stuff, don't worry, terminologists do it better!