I need a user-friendly term?

Subject: I need a user-friendly term?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 01 Oct 2004 09:21:52 -0400

Wade Courtney wondered: <<We have an application that can write information to RAM or to a Solid State Disk (SSD). Currently in the UI we call the Non-Volatile Memory. I think this term has a number of issues and I have been tasked with coming up with a more universal, user friendly term.>>

If your audience is at all techy, there's nothing wrong with "non-volatile memory", and it's a particularly good choice if you're calling RAM "volatile memory". It's not clear what you're calling an SSD, since there are many different varieties of this. A more generic term such as "permanent" or "semi-permanent" works well if you're calling RAM "temporary" memory and you want to emphasize the permanent/temporary distinction.

If SSD and RAM are the terms that are being used in the interface, it makes sense to use the same terms in the docs, and make sure that the distinction (the former preserves the data; the latter loses it as soon as you turn off the power) is crystal clear to the readers. For that matter, the software itself should courteously remind the user: "You still have unsaved data in RAM that will be lost when you quit this program: would you like to save it to SSD so you can work on it later?"

--Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)


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