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Re: [agile-usability] Your / My Conflict

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  • Tim Wright
    This is something that s often confused me - the my/your thing. However, it s confused me because I don t understand why people want to have links or features
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 4, 2008
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      This is something that's often confused me - the my/your thing.

      However, it's confused me because I don't understand why people want to have links or features called "my account". It's like going into a bank and the teller saying "would you like to see my account?"

      If we view the interaction between the computer and the user as a conversation, then surely the computer should always say "your" if we want to give the impression that the user "owns" the thing.

      However, I am also wondering if anyoe has actually done any research into the difference of naming a shopping basket "my shopping basket" instead of "your shopping basket" (or some other my/your thing).

      Tim

      On Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 9:21 AM, Leina <leina_elgohari@...> wrote:

      Hello All
      An example of the Your / My conflict (if there a conflict) can be seen
      on Amazon.If you select the "Your Account" link it takes you to a
      section sub-headed "Where's My Stuff". However, below it there are
      links such as "Change your name", "Forgot your Password?" etc.

      Do people think think it that:
      (1) If "Your" is used then it should be consistent across all links?
      (2) or it is possible to have "Your" as the parent link and "My" as
      child links

      Is there a conflict within Amazon or does it make perfect sense?

      Thanks, Lee




      --
      Kei te kōrero tiki au. Kei te kōrero tiki koe. Ka kōrero tiki tāua. Kōrero ai tiki tāua.
    • Jon Kern
      Whichever you choose... be consistent. Or, simply remove the my/your perspective confusion and leave it as Account Settings instead of My Settings
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 4, 2008
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        Whichever you choose... be consistent.

        Or, simply remove the "my/your" perspective confusion and leave it as
        "Account"

        "Settings" instead of "My Settings"
        "Account" instead of "My Account"

        Regarding amazon... Personal Information:

        * Change Your Name, E-mail Address, or Password
        * Update Your Communication Preferences
        * Forgot Your Password?
        * Manage Your Address Book
        * View or Change Your 1-Click Settings


        You could easily drop "Your" in all cases...

        I'm guessing the intent was to make it more "personal."

        jon


        blog: TechnicalDebt.com <http://technicaldebt.com>
        View Jon Kern's profile <http://www.linkedin.com/in/jonkern>


        Tim Wright said the following on 10/4/08 5:23 PM:
        >
        > This is something that's often confused me - the my/your thing.
        >
        > However, it's confused me because I don't understand why people want
        > to have links or features called "my account". It's like going into a
        > bank and the teller saying "would you like to see my account?"
        >
        > If we view the interaction between the computer and the user as a
        > conversation, then surely the computer should always say "your" if we
        > want to give the impression that the user "owns" the thing.
        >
        > However, I am also wondering if anyoe has actually done any research
        > into the difference of naming a shopping basket "my shopping basket"
        > instead of "your shopping basket" (or some other my/your thing).
        >
        > Tim
        >
        > On Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 9:21 AM, Leina <leina_elgohari@...
        > <mailto:leina_elgohari@...>> wrote:
        >
        > Hello All
        > An example of the Your / My conflict (if there a conflict) can be
        > seen
        > on Amazon.If you select the "Your Account" link it takes you to a
        > section sub-headed "Where's My Stuff". However, below it there are
        > links such as "Change your name", "Forgot your Password?" etc.
        >
        > Do people think think it that:
        > (1) If "Your" is used then it should be consistent across all links?
        > (2) or it is possible to have "Your" as the parent link and "My" as
        > child links
        >
        > Is there a conflict within Amazon or does it make perfect sense?
        >
        > Thanks, Lee
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --
        > Kei te kōrero tiki au. Kei te kōrero tiki koe. Ka kōrero tiki tāua.
        > Kōrero ai tiki tāua.
        >
      • aacockburn
        ... seen ... links? ... Nice question - I hadn t particularly noticed it, all the times I ve used Amazon. I like the shift, personally --- all the consistent
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 4, 2008
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          --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Leina" <leina_elgohari@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Hello All
          > An example of the Your / My conflict (if there a conflict) can be
          seen
          > on Amazon.If you select the "Your Account" link it takes you to a
          > section sub-headed "Where's My Stuff". However, below it there are
          > links such as "Change your name", "Forgot your Password?" etc.
          >
          > Do people think think it that:
          > (1) If "Your" is used then it should be consistent across all
          links?
          > (2) or it is possible to have "Your" as the parent link and "My" as
          > child links
          >
          > Is there a conflict within Amazon or does it make perfect sense?
          >
          > Thanks, Lee
          >

          Nice question - I hadn't particularly noticed it, all the times
          I've used Amazon.

          I like the shift, personally --- all the consistent versions
          seem stilted to me.

          on a book page, "Your account" indicates it's "over there".
          Once I'm there, I'm not "over there" any more, I'm "here",
          so "Where's my stuff?" is exactly what's on my mind.

          Interesting question (again). thanks for raising it.

          (p.s. beware of over-consistency:
          "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds"
          Emerson
          )
        • Darci D Dutcher
          I m not particularly bothered by the switch either. Sure it could have been worded in ways that are more consistent. But also notice that the phrase Where s
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 5, 2008
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            I'm not particularly bothered by the switch either.  Sure it could have been worded in ways that are more consistent.  

            But also notice that the phrase "Where's my stuff?" is the only one displayed with quotation marks, which echoes my thoughts at that point in time.  The way it is displayed indicates to me that it was a conscious decision to temporarily shift phrasing.

            The your/my question is one that is almost always difficult to address to everyone's satisfaction.

            -darci



            On Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 5:29 AM, aacockburn <acockburn@...> wrote:

            --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Leina" <leina_elgohari@...>
            wrote:


            >
            > Hello All
            > An example of the Your / My conflict (if there a conflict) can be
            seen
            > on Amazon.If you select the "Your Account" link it takes you to a
            > section sub-headed "Where's My Stuff". However, below it there are
            > links such as "Change your name", "Forgot your Password?" etc.
            >
            > Do people think think it that:
            > (1) If "Your" is used then it should be consistent across all
            links?
            > (2) or it is possible to have "Your" as the parent link and "My" as
            > child links
            >
            > Is there a conflict within Amazon or does it make perfect sense?
            >
            > Thanks, Lee
            >

            Nice question - I hadn't particularly noticed it, all the times
            I've used Amazon.

            I like the shift, personally --- all the consistent versions
            seem stilted to me.

            on a book page, "Your account" indicates it's "over there".
            Once I'm there, I'm not "over there" any more, I'm "here",
            so "Where's my stuff?" is exactly what's on my mind.

            Interesting question (again). thanks for raising it.

            (p.s. beware of over-consistency:
            "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds"
            Emerson
            )


          • Nick Gassman
            ... Bottom line is it doesn t really matter. People get it either way. Having said which, we have a standard that if people have done stuff to own things,
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 15, 2008
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              On Sun, 5 Oct 2008 10:23:06 +1300, Tim wrote:

              >However, it's confused me because I don't understand why people want to have
              >links or features called "my account". It's like going into a bank and the
              >teller saying "would you like to see my account?"
              >
              >If we view the interaction between the computer and the user as a
              >conversation, then surely the computer should always say "your" if we want
              >to give the impression that the user "owns" the thing.

              Bottom line is it doesn't really matter. People get it either way.

              Having said which, we have a standard that if people have done stuff
              to 'own' things, then use 'my' e.g. my account, my booking, but if
              we're presenting to a customer it's 'your' as in 'your offers'. But
              that's reallyhow we think about it, to give designers a lead.
              Customers just don't notice.

              * Nick Gassman - Usability and Standards Manager - http://ba.com *
            • Ninad Raval
              ... to have ... and the ... want ... I agree with Nick, I have noticed this when people use software, they really don t notice My/Your. This question was being
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 23, 2008
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                --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Nick Gassman <nick@...> wrote:
                >
                > On Sun, 5 Oct 2008 10:23:06 +1300, Tim wrote:
                >
                > >However, it's confused me because I don't understand why people want to have
                > >links or features called "my account". It's like going into a bank and the
                > >teller saying "would you like to see my account?"
                > >
                > >If we view the interaction between the computer and the user as a
                > >conversation, then surely the computer should always say "your" if we want
                > >to give the impression that the user "owns" the thing.
                >
                > Bottom line is it doesn't really matter. People get it either way.
                >
                > Having said which, we have a standard that if people have done stuff
                > to 'own' things, then use 'my' e.g. my account, my booking, but if
                > we're presenting to a customer it's 'your' as in 'your offers'. But
                > that's reallyhow we think about it, to give designers a lead.
                > Customers just don't notice.
                >
                > * Nick Gassman - Usability and Standards Manager - http://ba.com *
                >


                I agree with Nick, I have noticed this when people use software, they really don't notice My/Your. This question was being debated internally where I work, and we concluded the following;

                * when you refer to an entity which can be customized by the user OR is customized FOR the user to show his/her data, that entity becomes HIS.. so My Account / My Computer / My Billing. (exception to the rule is flickr, they have "your sets", "your photos" etc.) It not only adds a personalized touch to the software but also because users of PC are conditioned with the usage of "My" - My Computer, My Music, My Documents etc.

                * we can use 'your' in a case where we want to have a conversation with the user like in system msgs (error/success etc. ) so, your account has been activated, please enter your email address.

                * best of all, avoid using either if you are worried the user might get confused, like apple does it. I noticed this when i was signing up for apple's mobileme  (not that I mobileme, just curious to see what's inside). they just use "Account" or "contacts" and such.

                Also, while I was researching this topic, I also came across Oracles UI Guidelines.

                Use of Pronouns

                In general, Oracle Applications should omit pronouns (such as I, my, his, our, they) from user interface labels. Oracle Applications should not contain the common Web construction, "My (xxx)", such as "My Portal". Exceptions to this guideline include the global button,"Contact Us", and the portal address "my.oracle.com". Use of the pronouns "you" and "your(s)" is acceptable in instruction text and messages.


                Hope this helps

                --
                Ninad
                http://ninad.me

              • William Pietri
                ... I think this works particularly well for Flickr as the site has a strong, personal voice. First-person pronouns are the people at Flickr; second-person
                Message 7 of 8 , Oct 23, 2008
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                  Ninad Raval wrote:
                  (exception to the rule is flickr, they have "your sets", "your photos" etc.)

                  I think this works particularly well for Flickr as the site has a strong, personal voice. First-person pronouns are the people at Flickr; second-person language is for the user; third-person, for the other people on the site. I'd suspect that originated pretty naturally in the way it was developed: especially in the early days, there was a lot of close cooperation between the user community and Flickr's creators.

                  For reasons I can't quite put my finger on, I'd be more inclined to use "your" language on a community product like Flickr, and "my" language on a non-social product. But looking around, I see that social network also-rans Friendster and Orkut used first-person pronouns, while Facebook and Twitter mostly drop the pronouns, and use second-person ones (you, your) when they don't.

                  That pronoun lack seems a little less homey to me in a social site, but that's probably appropriate for the relationship that Facebook and Twitter want to have with their audience.

                  William
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