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Naming and Labeling

A solid naming system not only clearly defines the contents of the site, it also sets a tone about the company. Tone is important. The manner in which you name or label your buttons, icons, and navigational elements says a lot about your company and your approach. Naming should be consistent throughout the site. We're talking words or labels here — nongraphic road signs — that help to lead the way. Refer to the site goals. Is the client going for a friendly, accessible approach, or is the goal to be as professional and credible as possible [4.19]?

4.19. Consider www.etrade.com then and now. In 2001, E*TRADE went for a very businesslike “login” and offered “Customer Services.” There is nothing user-centric in this version, with the generic and impersonal long list of navigational links on the left side of the screen.” In 2004, E*TRADE's menus actually prompt site visitors: “Take me to…” and “I need to…” All in a friendly and user-centered manner.[All references marked with red circles by the authors, not E*TRADE.]



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