Words are part of the interface

The use of words is a critical component of a website’s design. Just like layout and colors, it can enhance the usability of your website and provide a pleasant online experience to your visitors. However, writing is often under-estimated, under-valued, and under-funded. It is not "cool" to be in charge of writing in an organization that is in love with computers and technology.

For a change, review your website and decide whether to use:

  • ‘New’ or ‘Create’?
  • ‘Edit’, ‘Update’, or ‘Save Changes’?
  • ‘Save’ or ‘Submit’?
  • ‘Modified’, ‘Updated’, or ‘Recently Updated’?
  • ‘7’ or ‘seven’?
  • ‘Object not found’, or ‘The page you are looking for is not here’?
  • ’email’ or ‘e-mail’?
  • ‘Jobs’, ‘Job Seekers’, or ‘Employment Opportunities’?
  • ‘Preferences’, ‘Configuration’, ‘Settings’, or ‘Options’?
  • ‘Buy now’, or ‘Purchase now’?

A naive view of web usability only involves decisions on the layout, structure, or whether to use a drop-down or a checkbox. Field labels, button labels, error messages, return policy, instructions, reminders are all necessary to improve the usability of a website.


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