Re: in or on

Subject: Re: in or on
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- STARBASECORP -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 14:30:29 -0800

> In article <Pine -dot- 3 -dot- 89 -dot- 1 -dot- 2 -dot- 9501221036 -dot- B16438-0100000 -at- zeus -dot- datasrv -dot- co -dot- il>,
> Edunetics <edunet -at- zeus -dot- datasrv -dot- co -dot- il> writes:
> |> Which would you choose?
> |>
> |> The application I'm writing about has a tree browser that displays icons
> |> representing the different members of a school's organization.
> |>
> |> (Would you leave off the word icon? Would you use 'select' instead of
> |> 'click'?)
To which Marie Moore replied:
> I would *not* leave off "icon"; saying "Click the student" sounds silly.
> I would use "click" rather than "select" -- depending on your audience
> and their familiarity with computers. It seems like most "shrink-wrapped"
> At my company, "click" and "select" have distinctly different meanings:

> "click" means that when you click a button/icon/menu option,
> some action immediately occurs, such as another

> "select" means that you choose something, and then perform
> an operation either on it or using it.
At the Windows 95 Help Authoring Conference last Friday (hang in
there gang, I'm in the process of compiling my notes), Microsoft
announced a change in writing style based on several iterations
of usability testing. The results are:

*Eliminating extra baggage words such as the...button and the...icon.
People, they found, do just as well without them and appreciate the
brevity. So... If the icon is labeled "student", Click Student will
work just as well, if not better than, Click the Student icon.

*Using "action words" in instructions. They have abandoned the
ever-present "choose" in favor of "click" (not click on). And
since the system is mouse-dependent, they present the mouse
instructions. So... The instructions for making a menu selection
are now "Click New on the File menu" (this is still backwards to
me, but...)

So, if playing with the big kids has any merit for you and/or
your company...

Sue Gallagher
StarBase Corp, Irvine CA
sgallagher -at- starbasecorp -dot- com

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