Re: Terminology for web page elements

Subject: Re: Terminology for web page elements
From: "Paul Goble" <pgcommunication -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2006 16:18:34 -0600

Patrice asked,

I'm looking for a resource that shows the names of typical web page elements.
I'm looking for names that I can use for end-user instructions. I've got the MS Manual
of Style, ed. 3, and it has two screen shots that very cursorarily label web page
elements. I was hoping to find something more comprehensive.

If you as an "expert" have to look up a term, then surely your
less-expert audience
won't know the term either. As mentioned in the recent conversation
about "tabbed pages,"
it's usually better to plan instructions to avoid the need to find and
then explain
new terminology. If you succeed in finding a term to describe the
button and its location,
you'll need to explain that term to your reader. Now the reader is
distracted by having
to learn yet another thing which isn't directly related to the task at hand.

You want to avoid, "Click the Send button in the left hand corner on
the bottom of the page." Avoiding this is good, if only because the
Send button will probably move to
the right corner in the next release :-).

If there's only one Send button, why not write, "Click the Send
button" or better yet,
"Click Send"?

If there's more than one Send button, the user interface needs to be
redesigned! If you
think that your readers won't easily be able to find the Send button,
and you can't simplify
the interface, then show, don't tell. Highlight the button in a
screen capture.


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Terminology for web page elements: From: dodd

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