Re: Long dialog box names

Subject: Re: Long dialog box names
From: Jane Bergen <janeb -at- ANSWERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 1997 17:45:54 -0600

At 05:18 PM 3/6/97 EST, Misti Tucker USAET(UTC -05:00) wrote:
>David Castro said:
>> Can anyone point me toward some study that may strengthen my argument with
>> programmers that their dialog box names are too long? We have some real
>> doozies, such as the "Add/Edit Visit Type Care Level Cross Reference dialog

There are studies out there...I just can't pull up the names right now.
They deal with the amount of adjectives a person can process at once and
it's really very interesting. The general rule of thumb is no more than 4
adjectives per noun...
In your case, "Add/Edit Visit Type Care" (or pick other words) and then,
but only if absolutely necessary, you could add "dialog box" as long as
it's not an official part of the title (such as in a caption for a graphic,
for example). I run into this problem ALL the time and go round and round
with engineers. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose...depends upon whether
the phrase is actually a well-known and generally-accepted use.

Just an aside... I try to eliminate the most unnecessary or redundant
words. For example, what else can you do in this dialog box besides
"add/edit"? If the answer is nothing, then drop it. Just title the dialog
box "Visit Care Level" or something similar. One of my favorite pet peeves
is "Create New..." Uh, can you create an OLD anything???? Just say "Create
.." as in "Create Widget"!

Good luck... you've got your work cut out for you...

Jane Bergen
Jane Bergen, Technical Writer
AnswerSoft, Inc. Dallas, TX
janeb -at- answersoft -dot- com

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