Re: Field Labels

Subject: Re: Field Labels
From: Janice Gelb <janiceg -at- MARVIN -dot- ENG -dot- SUN -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 08:55:20 -0700

Tom Hinds wrote:
> Does anyone know of a good reference that states rules (standards) of
> GUI design? I am interested in rules that specifically deal with the
> labeling of fields.
> My team is midway through a project. We are writing a manual and help
> files for a group of applications. In some of the dialog boxes there
> are fields that are not labeled. For example, one dialog box contains
> a set of columns. Some columns contain a heading; some do not.
> To make it easier on the writer (and eventually the user of the product)
> I insist that all fields are labeled.
> I would like to show the developers a rule or two supporting my demands.
> This would be much easier (and also better for work politics, although maybe
> less effective) than applying a sleeper hold or figure-four leg-lock until
> the head of the development team submits to the field naming scheme I
> desire.

This is a very tricky problem -- I had a similar one with writers who
were having trouble documenting a product with impossibly long and
badly named fields. I searched through many developer style guides to
try to find guidelines on how to write labels but although they dealt
extensively with what the various widgets should do and how they should
be used, none actually dealt with naming conventions. (Made it harder
to blame the engineers after that!)

I was finally successful, though!

Check out the Ameritech Graphical User Interface Standards and
Design Guidelines
in the section "Standards and Design Guidelines: Input from User"

Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with this
janice -dot- gelb -at- eng -dot- sun -dot- com | message is the return address.

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