Re: upload/download terminology

Subject: Re: upload/download terminology
From: wswallow -at- nycap -dot- rr -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 08 Jun 2004 09:36:21 -0400

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.

LOL! This is too funny! Who's your audience, and what specifically are you trying to communicate here? If upload and download are correct terminology, why not explain the terminology and educate them on the correct meanings of the terms?

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.

But is it accurate and correct?

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?

Well, what's the specific protocol? Every protocol has a specific initiating system.

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?

I always use the correct terminology and define it for the audience before using it. That solves about 98% of the confusion, leaving the other 2% to either work to understand it or realize they need more help than they are currently getting.

Sounds a little harsh, but we cannot make it our mission to make sure every single person gets it. No matter how hard you try, you won't get through to everyone, which is why there are so many options for additional learning and training in the world of technology.

So, again, properly define your terminology up front, and use it consistently. Most will get it, and the rest are candidates for additional education of some form.




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