Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Don't make me think: why you need consistent wording in emails and web content


A recent holiday abroad made me realise how important it is for organisations to be consistent with the wording they use – in email alerts and web content.

Get this wrong and it's potentially confusing for customers.

It started with easyJet's email alert offering the chance to 'check in online' (see screenshot below).





Screenshot: check in online









But if you click through, the web page below has no mention of 'check in online'.

Instead, there's an orange button for 'Boarding Pass' in the screenshot below.


Screenshot: boarding pass










So is 'Boarding Pass' the same as 'check in'? Apparently yes. When you print out your boarding pass, it says 'You're checked in'.

So instead of leaving us to figure it out for ourselves, the airline could change the email alert: 'To check in, print your boarding pass.'

As Steve Krug says in his usability book Don't make me think
"People don't like to puzzle over how to do things... I should be able to 'get it ' – what it is and how to use it  – without expending any effort thinking about it."

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