Projects/Usability/HIG/Wording

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Purpose

Every word displayed in an application is part of a conversation with users. This conversation is an opportunity to provide clarity and to help people feel comfortable in the system.

Guidelines

  • Use a terminology that is familiar and easy to understand for the target audience (i.e. Persona) of your application.
  • Put the most important thing first.
  • Short words, active verbs and common nouns.
  • Avoid contractions such as Don't and Won't etc.
  • Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, and tech-babble.
  • Use a tone that’s informal and friendly, but not too informal; avoid popular, but transient, words and phrases.
  • Keep information short and consistent; avoid redundancy or unnecessary words. e.g. Do not repeat the dialog title in the dialog text.
  • Don't abuse capitalization because it draws people’s attention.
  • For date and time information, consider that your app may potentially be used for several years; do not use immutable date references like this year unless it is algorithmically determined.
  • Follow system-wide wording conventions for basic functions to keep wording consistent.

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