Usability Guidelines: Labeling
August 1, 2017
Labeling can be thought of as concise description. In some cases, labels will be cut short, they'll have a character limit, or they could be full sentences. It's important to be mindful of the different aspects of a label's limitations and usefulness.
- Page Titles
- Easily overlooked from a usability perspective, page titles can provide both context and navigation for users. Page titles are often obscured so only the first few words (2-5) may be visible to the user. Make it count by labeling based on the actual content of the page.
- Content Headings
- With additional space for words, headings are more forgiving and more informative, too. A heading should cover the basics of the who, what, when, and where, while the content below it should exlain why.
- Avoid using jargon or potentially confusing words. Link labels should be short, descriptive, and give a clear picture of where they lead. "Learn more" or "Read more" are vague. Something like, "Find out how this service could save you 25%!" is enticing and informs the user of the link's destination.
Labeling also plays an important role in navigation, user expectation, and readability so it should be addressed with care.