[Grok-dev] Grok site: changing "Learn" to "Documentation" in the main navigation

Sebastian Ware sebastian at urbantalk.se
Thu Jan 3 05:28:38 EST 2008

3 jan 2008 kl. 08.51 skrev Jan Ulrich Hasecke:

> Am 03.01.2008 um 00:06 schrieb Kevin Teague:
>> Documentation is likely to be more easily understood I think be  
>> people
>> looking for ... documentation. Although I do like the symmetry of  
>> having
>> verbs for the four main site sections. If we changed all of the main
>> sections in the navigator to nouns we would have:
>> * Evaluate -> About
>> * Learn -> Documentation
>> * Develop -> Project (?)
>> * Participate -> Community
> Ok, the site is in English and maybe it sounds cool to have verbs,  
> if you are a native speaker. To all other it simply does not matter  
> and if you would translate these verbs into German it would sound  
> very much like baby speak to German ears.

There is ALLWAYS a language problem if you translate directly from  
English to German... :)

"The Brits often assume that Germans have no sense of humour. In  
truth, writes comedian Stewart Lee, it's a language problem."

> If you use verbs you might address readers more directly. But  
> doesn't it sound like an imperative? Evaluate! Learn! Develop! In  
> German it would be something between plain infinitive (to evaluate)  
> and imperative and is very suitable for menus in programmes. But if  
> I click on "send as mail" the programme sends as mail and not me. In  
> our case we want people to read a lot of stuff, so it might sound  
> like an imperative. And If I read "Evaluate" I expect a lot of work  
> to – evaluate. If I read "About" I expect a one-pager to get it all  
> in a concise manner.

The verbs answer the question "What do you want to do at the Grok  
website?". Probably 99% of the visitors can answer that question  
without hesitation.

> So I would plead for the most understandable version. If you look at  
> a webpage there are only fractions of a second to get what it is all  
> about. I would have no problems with nouns in menus and verbs in the  
> buttons, because the buttons shall really address the reader.

The nouns require you to know what you are looking for in order to do  
what you want to do. I believe that the verbs are infinitely more  
usable, because it requires us to do the thinking, whereas nouns  
leaves the thinking to the visitor (who has little or no idea of how  
we structured the website).

Nouns are good for experts (on the grok website). Verbs good for the  
"newbie visitor". However, a good search is even better for experts if  
the content grows to be more than what is really easily browseable.

mvh Sebastian

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