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Labeling Content5:32 with Dan Gorgone
Once you organize content into groups, how do you label them? Labeling information provides the context users need to understand how your website or app is organized. Choosing labels that make sense and appeal to your users will be important to the success of your website or app.
- SPARK: https://sparkforautism.org/portal/homepage/
- Education.com: https://www.education.com/science-fair/article/battery-life-science-experiment/
- Insperity: https://www.insperity.com/
- Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Trouble_in_Little_China
- WikiHow: https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Moths
Human beings love to organize things. 0:00 We need to, because it helps us make sense of the world around us. 0:02 But organizing content on our websites and 0:06 apps is just the first step in making sense of things. 0:08 Once you group your content together, 0:12 you'll still need to know what those groups represent. 0:13 You need a label, a clear and obvious term like a name or a symbol that tells 0:16 you immediately what the group contains, or what's common about every item in it. 0:22 Consider this scenario, you are moving from one apartment to another. 0:27 You pack everything you own into generic looking boxes and containers. 0:31 And when get you get to your new place, 0:35 you have to figure out where everything is. 0:37 If you've ever moved before, 0:40 you'll know the key to surviving this moving process is to label your boxes, so 0:41 you understand where all your stuff is and where it should go. 0:46 A box labeled clothes doesn't really help anyone, who's clothes? 0:49 Which bedroom should it go in? 0:54 Is it winter clothes or summer clothes? 0:56 But labeling the box Mike's t-shirts, 0:58 master bedroom, makes the content within the container very clear. 1:01 So if you can accurately and clearly label the content within all your 1:06 website containers, your users will be able to find what they need immediately, 1:11 accomplish their goals and will enjoy the experience. 1:17 If you don't label the information on your website or do a lousy job of it, 1:21 you're taking a lot of risks. 1:25 Users may get frustrated if they can't find what they want. 1:28 They may get lost clicking around from place to place. 1:32 And if they can't accomplish their goals, they may leave and never come back. 1:35 Labels are the signals users need to find their way. 1:40 So it's your job to provide clear signs and 1:44 checkpoints, so they can continue their journey. 1:47 So what kind of things need labeling on a website? 1:50 Navigation menus absolutely need clear and accurate labels. 1:54 We'll dig deeper into navigation in the next video, but the labels you use for 2:00 the links in your menus are vitally important for usability and 2:04 the user experience. 2:08 The best way to label your menu links is to consider the user's point of view. 2:10 What information would they look for if they were a new user or a returning user? 2:14 What tasks are they trying to complete by using your app or visiting your site? 2:20 What links would they look for if they wanted to buy something, 2:25 fix something or download something? 2:30 These terms should be clear and easy to understand, and the shorter the better. 2:33 For example, 2:39 this website about autism research has a simple looking menu at the top. 2:40 But while Research and Newsletter seem straightforward enough, 2:45 Discover leaves you wondering, discover what exactly? 2:49 Using different tests, we could evaluate the effectiveness of that label 2:54 to see if users understand what they'd find if they click the link. 2:59 It's actually their blog. 3:03 So maybe a label that just said blog would make more sense here. 3:05 Page headers are another aspect of the website and 3:10 user experience that need to be labeled effectively. 3:13 Just by looking at the top of a page users should know what they'll find there. 3:16 So don't try to be too clever, make it obvious. 3:21 When you look at this science project page, 3:26 it's clear what you're looking at and what the page will cover. 3:28 But page headers do more than just tell you what's on the page, 3:32 they help establish trust. 3:36 Many times when you click a link, 3:39 the link says what's on the page you're going to, right? 3:41 So if you arrive at the page and 3:44 it's called something else, you're gonna wonder if you're in the right place. 3:46 Consistency between the link label and the page label builds confidence. 3:51 When you look at an HR solutions website, like Insperity, for example, 3:57 you'll see that when you click any of the links under their Individual Solutions 4:01 menu, the corresponding page matches the link you chose. 4:06 You can't help but feel confident in the organization of a site 4:10 when the page header matches the link. 4:13 Now, another element that needs strong labels are page sections. 4:16 These labels help signal to users what they can find within a page. 4:20 They communicate the structure of the page, 4:25 helping to put things in a logical order. 4:27 They could be in order of importance or in a specific sequence, 4:29 like a page with instructions on how to set up Christmas lights. 4:33 Clearly labeling each section means users will be able to follow along without 4:37 frustration, and if necessary quickly locate a specific piece of information 4:40 simply by skimming section headers or outlines. 4:45 Our biggest goal with labels should be to make them clear and obvious. 4:49 There's another great quote I wanna share from Steve Krug, 4:54 author of Don't Make Me Think, on the topic of links and labels. 4:57 He says, It doesn't matter how many times I have to click, 5:00 as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice. 5:04 So whether you're grouping content within sections on a website or on a page, 5:09 the labels you use to identify everything should be clear, obvious, and helpful. 5:14 Remember, these label are guides, so 5:21 don't make your users think about which path to take. 5:24 The simplest approach almost always works best. 5:28
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