upload/download terminology

Subject: upload/download terminology
From: sandy -dot- sledge -at- itron -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 14:51:12 -0600


I'm trying to write some user documentation about uploading/downloading
data from an application server to a handheld computer.

In a small sampling of usability testing, the users were confused as to
upload/download and tended to think of those terms in geographical views.
One user used "upload" when the data was sent to the office north of the
application server (up is north on a map). Another user used "upload" to
send data to an office south of the application server, but since that
office was on a hill, they were going "up." Crazy - huh? We have decided
to NOT use upload/download because of the confusion.

So then we thought of import/export, but that requires having to know the
initiating system. Definition: Import = the act of bringing information
from the host system into another system or program. Export = the act of
sending or moving information from one system or program to the host
system. Example: I import info from a CIS to the application server, but I
export info from the application server to the mainframe. That seems
fairly start forward.

Now users are confused as to what is the "real" initiating system. If I
want data that is on the handheld computer, would I import from the
application server, or would that be an export from the handheld computer?

It seems there is no problem when dealing with the application server and
the CIS (it's import/export). Major confusion with the handheld though. I
even have considered making up new terms; ToHandheld and FromHandeld. But
it just doesn't sound right.

This shouldn't be that hard!!!! Has anyone else had this type of user
terminology problem and how did you solve it?

thanks
Sandy

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