I sympathize with the folks that rail against the word user to mean the visitor, reader, etc. of a computer system, but it’s so widespread and useful a term it seems a lost battle at this point. Still, I had to laugh this morning when my wife — who had been using a system called something like the personal career profile — received an email that began: “Dear PCP User,“
What’s the essential difference between informational content and marketing content? I decided it was an objective tone vs. a subjective tone, respectively. I had to get that clear for myself as it can become very subtle when adjusting language and people can be rather passionate about wanting one or the other without actually knowing what they’re asking for.
I had a good laugh when I was looking at Jesse’s book site and came upon a section titled The obligatory fake FAQ. This touches on one of those seemingly innocent requests that drive me up the wall: people who want to ‘create’ frequently asked questions. The original format was a beautiful thing, a bottom-up list grown organically from questions that need answers. But now that the format is popular, people sit down and make up what they think people will ask. Ugh!
The global navigation at Peter Morville’s Semantic Studios:
Home, Consulting, Presentations, Publications, About
The global navigation at Lou Rosenfeld’s LouisRosenfeld.com:
Home, Consulting, Presentations, Publications, In the Media, Biography
An informal survey:
- Salon: ‘Print‘ icon + label, and the resulting page reads, ‘To print this page, select Print from the File menu of your browser‘
- New York Times: ‘Printer-Friendly Format‘ icon +label (but, it’s the person we’re being friendly to, right?)
- CNET: ‘Printer-friendly format‘ text link
- SJ Mercury News: ‘print this‘ icon + label
- Yahoo News: ‘Print Story‘ icon + text link
I don’t want to give the impression that by clicking that link the page will be printed, ’cause it won’t, so ‘Print…‘ doesn’t work for me. I’m leaning towards ‘Printing-Friendly Format”.