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Our banned web words

Local government likes its words – and the rest of the world likes to laugh at it when it then bans them.

In web we don’t get involved. We like to produce clean, easy to interpret content, that users understand. If they use the tip, then we call it the tip, but we do have a few words we don’t like on our website.

Our banned words

  • Top Tasks
  • Quick Links
  • Popular items
  • FAQs

In the context of a service driven website these are meaningless terms. The user has no way of assessing if their need is a “top task”, or “frequently asked question”. The terms only have meaning to people who can see more of the data.

We are great fans of the top task methodology for finding, prioritizing and categorizing your content, but it’s no help to an individual user to tell them that’s what it’s called. Your site should be organised so people can find what they want logically – most of these terms are a crutch to some form of information failure.

We also try to cut down on superfluous words on the site. For example in our recent refresh we removed the “Straight to…” heading from the top of our landing pages – it served no purpose to the user. What else were the big links below doing if not taking you to something?