My Advice? Be Consistent, Not Interesting

I’ve posted previously about whether you Sign into a site or Sign in to one. (The latter, and here’s why.)

But there’s a further question about whether you sign in or log in. Answer: Doesn’t matter!

But then, imagine getting to the first step in a series, and reading what’s in the image below (plus the part I erased):

There are a couple of small issues, and one big one. Let’s skip the small ones….

The big issue:

The step says to sign in, then tells you what to do after you’ve logged in to something. We don’t really know whether the thing we’re logging in to is the same as the thing we signed in to.

And anyway, are sign in and log in two different things? If they are, then can we get some more explanation? And if they’re not, then why have two different terms for the same thing?

Be Consistent. If it’s boring to use the same term over and over again, then be boring. Nice and boring. Nice and boring and clear and unambiguous. Be consistent.

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2 Responses to “My Advice? Be Consistent, Not Interesting”

  1. Jeffrey
    May 26, 2010 at 1:20 am #

    NO KIDDING!

    I see that all the time at work:
    Learn about your car using the form below.
    1) Select your vehicle type
    2) Choose the make of your car (“well, I chose truck as the vehicle type because it’s a truck)

    Or in regs: “the vehicle must …” and in the next sentence it references “cars.”

    I once heard a great speaker on this point say that it’s because our high school English teachers tried to force us to use more creative language, but those teachers were wrong.

  2. admin-Robert
    May 28, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    They’re the same teachers who said that you mustn’t end a sentence with a preposition.

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