RE: Quotation marks around user interface labels

Subject: RE: Quotation marks around user interface labels
From: Lynne Wright <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com>
To: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 16:29:50 +0000

I agree that quotation marks just add clutter.

However, I think that bolding the UI elements that you use to perform an action enhances useability.

Given that people aren't prone to taking the time to read procedures slowly and carefully, bolding enables users to kind of skim a procedure and semi-intuit what actions to do by focusing on the key words and skipping the filler(ish) stuff (all the "click the" or "in the" phrases and such).

In other words, it creates a visual shorthand for fairly adept users.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Nancy Allison
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2011 5:05 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Quotation marks around user interface labels

Hi, all.

I seem to have lost my bearings about when to use quotation marks. I'm working on release notes that describe fixes to individual check boxes and fields in the user interface.

What would you for a sentence like this:

---Added a check on Out of Office reply in the Scheduling Conditions section before the Print routine.

I wouldn't use quotation marks or a special font for any of that, would you? Aren't the capitals enough to make it clear that proper names are being used?

But what about this:

---Fixed the bug that prevents Diagnostic: Outboard from being deleted.

That looks more like a heading that might be generated and displayed for a while under certain circumstances. I might be tempted to put quotation marks around "Diagnostic: Outboard."

The problem is made more difficult by the fact that I don't have time to check all these things out in the user interface. Even if I did, I don't know how to set up the conditions that generate some, or even a lot, of the errors that have been corrected.


I'm really working in the dark and on a tight deadline, too.

Do you have a rule of thumb about using quotation marks for field names, dialog box titles, message text, and the like?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Quotation marks around user interface labels: From: Nancy Allison

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