A ‘Quick Search’ section with 5-6 associated fields and a Search button. Another ‘Advanced Search’ feature placed next to it.
Person 1: Knows the entire workflow of the application and the business requirement. Has direct connect with business stakeholders to learn more about the application and is responsible for creating the customer journey and the wireframe.
Person 2: Has the wireframe to do a user testing; but has limited knowledge about the application.
Person 1: Briefs the application to Person 2.
Person 2: Why did you label that as ‘Quick Search’?
Person 1: We are providing users the option to search for what they are looking for, quickly. Hence Quick Search.
Person 2: Still, why do I need the term Quick Search? Can’t it be only ‘Search’?
Person 1: I feel ‘Search’ is a broad term. Also, for our user base, it will feel like taking a serious action. Quick Search communicates to the users that they can get basic results quickly with these fields. But if they want more details, they can use the Advanced Search option put beside.
The above conversation went on for some time. But based on the business requirement and a third opinion, the team decided to retain the term ‘Quick Search’.
What you read above is a regular conversation that can happen over labels during user testing.
Labelling is an important aspect in user experience. It involves how information is presented to the users. I wonder ‘How do we convince users with certain terms?’ Will the usage of words be accepted by different users in the same tone?
Why is labelling important?
Suitable labels make things easier for users. It makes communication easier without wasting precious time of your users. Users perceive the exact emotion of an information when we present the content with proper labels.Clear labels make content more accessible.
Based on the context and usage, labelling styles can vary; like placing labels inside text fields, or above text fields, right or left aligned labels.
Labels act as a determining factor for the users to know whether they are going to get the desired information (information scent).
Over the years, I’ve found a few things work great for labelling. Here are some pointers:
- Labelling is an art. It is never an easy job.
- Never use All Caps for labels
- Use common man’s language; use words they use daily.
- Use short and crispy labels
- Do user testing to understand how users perceive words
- Adjust labels according to context.
N.B. Do let me know in the comments section how you handle such scenarios and what is your way to perform proper labelling with.