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Re: [agile-usability] Your / My Conflict

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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