Wednesday, September 6, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Is This My Interface or Yours?

John Saito (via Ole Begemann):

In later versions of Windows, Microsoft changed the label of this [My Computer] icon to Computer, then changed it again to This PC. Did they change it because “my” was misleading? Inconsistent? Unnecessary?

[…]

Unfortunately, cutting out “my” or “your” doesn’t work 100% of the time. Sometimes you really do need to differentiate the user’s stuff from someone else’s stuff. For example, in YouTube, you can’t just say “Channel,” because it’s not clear whether that’s referring to your channel, channels that you’ve subscribed to, or channels that YouTube is recommending to you.

[…]

When to use me: Use I, me, my, or mine when the user is interacting with the product, like clicking a button or selecting a checkbox. But only add these words if you absolutely need to for clarity.

When to use you: Use you or your when your product is asking questions, giving instructions, or describing things to the user. Just imagine what a personal assistant might say.

Comments

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this post.

Leave a Comment