Friday, May 15, 2009

Using Verbs As Nouns in User Interfaces

Using Verbs As Nouns in User Interfaces

Q: My company is developing software that, among other things, manages large amounts of member information. This is enterprise-level software, so we assume there will be some training involved. (Although, it’s been my task for the past year to get the company out of the mindset that we should rely on training rather than usability.) To better manage interactions with such large datasets, we’ve incorporated the concept of views, in the same way that Microsoft Outlook and SQL Builder use them. However, my initial usability testing has found that the concept of views is escaping most people, and I think it often boils down to the term itself. Even if I show users what the software does—and they pretty much always like it when they see it—they still often cannot get over the initial hurdle of the naming convention. When we say Click here to view your views, we see eyes glazing over and drool forming at the corners of the mouths of even the most competent users.

I have two questions for the Ask UXmatters experts:

  1. What are your experience and wisdom on the use of verbs as nouns in naming software functionality?
  2. Do you have any other brilliant names for views?—from a UXmatters reader

Interesting. Check the link for the responses.

Posted via web from timmmii

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