Vocabulary: parts of a user interface?

Subject: Vocabulary: parts of a user interface?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 13:51:24 -0400

Elizabeth Hostetter wonders: <<I am in the process of editing two manuals
written for a web-based application. The author used the word screen to mean
both the physical screen and the browser window/page. Now screen is best
used to describe the screen on the monitor, but how should one refer to the
page in the browser window? After all, it's an
application and not a web site, in the traditional sense.>>

Think of it this way: as long as you're using a Web browser (rather than the
browser's Java engine without using the actual browser) you're in effect
still looking at a Web _page_ on the _screen_ of your computer. To emphasize
that this is an application rather than a formal Web page, you'd use the
same language as for any other application: window for the whole window,
dialog box for dialogs, and so on.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that
English is about as pure as a cribhouse [We're Happily Overcoming Repulsive
E-mailfiltering]. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has
pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle
their pockets for new vocabulary."-- James D. Nicoll


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