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.