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.
- Use a terminology that is familiar and easy to understand for the target audience (i.e. Persona) of your application.
- 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.
- Keep information short and consistent; avoid redundancy or unnecessary words.
- Don't abuse capitalization because it draws people’s attention.
- In respect to chronological information consider that your app is potentially used for decades; don't use fix dates like this year.
- Follow system-wide conventions for basic functions to keep wording consistent.
- Delete, Move to Trash, Remove and Uninstall
- When a file or object is completely removed from the system, use Delete.
- When a file or object can be recovered, use Move to Trash for files and Remove for list objects etc.
- When a file or object can be removed and was originally installed, use Uninstall.
- Settings, Options and Properties
- Use Settings for a configuration dialog which allows you to set specific properties or functionality. This usually applies to application configuration tools. For example, Konqueror Settings.
- Use Options for a configuration dialog which provides facultative features. This usually applies to the appearance and individualization.
- Use Properties for a list of metadata or details that are associated with a particular object which cannot be edited or interacted with in any way. For example, file "properties" dialog in Dolphin.