what to name the social networking area of a huge retail site

8 Apr 2008 - 2:17pm
6 years ago
3 replies
770 reads
stephanie walker
2008

Hi all,

Today I'm struggling with an issue I'm hoping you can help with. We are
trying to rename the section of a very large, multi-language, retail site
that contains user-generated content (blogs, wikis, forums, etc.) because an
executive does not like that it is currently called "Community". Yes, I know
this is not why you should mess with site nomenclature but welcome to my
reality. He's given no reason for his dislike other than "I don't like it".

I did a quick audit and it seems that "Community" is a very widely used term
on prominent sites (Amazon, Ebay, etc.), however this did not sway said
executive's opinion. So now I'm seeking research data (actual hard numbers)
that either supports the use of "Community" as a user-friendly concept or
offers other naming options that are supported by user research.

Anyone have any suggestions?

The process of educating people outside of our UX world about the importance
of user-centric design is never-ending, isn't it.

Thanks in advance,
Stephanie Walker
Information Architect
Austin, TX

PS. Sorry for the cross-posting to those of you on the IAI-Members list.

Comments

8 Apr 2008 - 4:22pm
Katie Albers
2005

In cases like this I've found that the executive won't care about
research, won't care about ROI, won't care about any actual business
factors whatsoever: He doesn't like it, so you must change it.
Frankly, you could probably call it "flight schedules" and he'd be
okay with it -- as long as you changed it.

It's easier to get the data you actually need if you start by asking
*him* what suggestions he has. Then you can find the appropriate data
or do the research to get it and you have a limited field to work
from. Similarly, do a brainstorming session with your team and
perhaps some identified market members and see what you can come up
with and how it tests out.

I have to admit, I don't really care for the term "Community"
myself...especially in connection to a retail site. To me it seems
sort of like bringing the concept of the company town to the Web.
Your existence in that "community" is primarily defined by your
relationship to the retailer.

I strongly doubt that any user-research was ever done before the term
began to be used as a standard denomination on sites. It strikes me
as one of those that has become a de facto standard simply because
everyone else did it and so... Yes, people sort of understand what
they will find in that area, but I think that's more because they've
gotten used to it than because it came from them.

Katie

At 3:17 PM -0500 4/8/08, stephanie . wrote:
>Hi all,
>
>Today I'm struggling with an issue I'm hoping you can help with. We are
>trying to rename the section of a very large, multi-language, retail site
>that contains user-generated content (blogs, wikis, forums, etc.) because an
>executive does not like that it is currently called "Community". Yes, I know
>this is not why you should mess with site nomenclature but welcome to my
>reality. He's given no reason for his dislike other than "I don't like it".
>
>I did a quick audit and it seems that "Community" is a very widely used term
>on prominent sites (Amazon, Ebay, etc.), however this did not sway said
>executive's opinion. So now I'm seeking research data (actual hard numbers)
>that either supports the use of "Community" as a user-friendly concept or
>offers other naming options that are supported by user research.
>
>Anyone have any suggestions?
>
>The process of educating people outside of our UX world about the importance
>of user-centric design is never-ending, isn't it.
>
>Thanks in advance,
>Stephanie Walker
>Information Architect
>Austin, TX
>
>PS. Sorry for the cross-posting to those of you on the IAI-Members list.
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

--

----------------
Katie Albers
katie at firstthought.com

9 Apr 2008 - 7:10am
Leandro Alves
2008

Well, when you decide that this area should be called "Community",
you take this decision based on what? As I understand, you made the
benchmark only after he asked for a change, am I right?

I suggest that in your next projects, you use card sorting to decide
the name of your site's areas. It will give you an basement to
discuss with any executive. And, when he asks for changes, you could
ask for him to sign a term saying that the name encountered with the
card sorting will be changed and his responsible for any future
problem it could take. It usually works. Nobody wants to be
responsible for project's failure.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=27927

14 Apr 2008 - 4:43pm
contenthouse
2008

Hi Stephanie,

Curious what label did your retail site finally come up with to replace the term "Community"? What ever it is I bet your traffic to that section will drop. Community is the excepted term out there in the web ether for forums, wikis, and blogs. Users understand that term whether your executive or another designer dislikes it. It is sort of like standard web design patterns you can’t ignore them because they work -- even when you have a better widget.

About the executive – you need to use traffic data and end user feedback to sway him. We do a lot of AB testing and it is pretty effective in getting buy in on an idea real quick. Good luck.

Regards, Peter

.................................................
Peter Chung
Senior User Experience Designer
Customer Experience Group, CNET.com
peter.chung at cnet.com

.................................................

contenthouse at yahoo.com

----- Original Message ----
From: "discuss-request at lists.interactiondesigners.com" <discuss-request at lists.interactiondesigners.com>
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 9, 2008 3:10:50 PM
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Message: 1
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2008 15:22:35 -0700
From: Katie Albers <katie at firstthought.com>
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] what to name the social networking area of
a huge retail site
To: "stephanie ." <ennea999 at gmail.com>, discuss at ixda.org
Message-ID: <p06240802c4219bf08806@[192.168.15.102]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"

In cases like this I've found that the executive won't care about
research, won't care about ROI, won't care about any actual business
factors whatsoever: He doesn't like it, so you must change it.
Frankly, you could probably call it "flight schedules" and he'd be
okay with it -- as long as you changed it.

It's easier to get the data you actually need if you start by asking
*him* what suggestions he has. Then you can find the appropriate data
or do the research to get it and you have a limited field to work
from. Similarly, do a brainstorming session with your team and
perhaps some identified market members and see what you can come up
with and how it tests out.

I have to admit, I don't really care for the term "Community"
myself...especially in connection to a retail site. To me it seems
sort of like bringing the concept of the company town to the Web.
Your existence in that "community" is primarily defined by your
relationship to the retailer.

I strongly doubt that any user-research was ever done before the term
began to be used as a standard denomination on sites. It strikes me
as one of those that has become a de facto standard simply because
everyone else did it and so... Yes, people sort of understand what
they will find in that area, but I think that's more because they've
gotten used to it than because it came from them.

Katie

At 3:17 PM -0500 4/8/08, stephanie . wrote:
>Hi all,
>
>Today I'm struggling with an issue I'm hoping you can help with. We are
>trying to rename the section of a very large, multi-language, retail site
>that contains user-generated content (blogs, wikis, forums, etc.) because an
>executive does not like that it is currently called "Community". Yes, I know
>this is not why you should mess with site nomenclature but welcome to my
>reality. He's given no reason for his dislike other than "I don't like it".
>
>I did a quick audit and it seems that "Community" is a very widely used term
>on prominent sites (Amazon, Ebay, etc.), however this did not sway said
>executive's opinion. So now I'm seeking research data (actual hard numbers)
>that either supports the use of "Community" as a user-friendly concept or
>offers other naming options that are supported by user research.
>
>Anyone have any suggestions?
>
>The process of educating people outside of our UX world about the importance
>of user-centric design is never-ending, isn't it.
>
>Thanks in advance,
>Stephanie Walker
>Information Architect
>Austin, TX
>
>PS. Sorry for the cross-posting to those of you on the IAI-Members list.
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

--

----------------
Katie Albers
katie at firstthought.com

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