Creating effective labels

When people talk about TC deliverables, they usually mean product manuals, user guides, online Help, tutorials, and other types of documents. We forget about a very important type of content information that is actually part of the product itself: namely, labels.

Text by Leah Guren


Creating effective labels

Image: © Bahadir Tanriover/

Labels are very small pieces of information that are part of the product, such as interface elements in a GUI or controls on a physical product.

In most companies, labels are written by developers. While developers are experts at their technology specialty, they are not trained in the many skills needed to create effective labels. Therefore, for the best possible user experience, we as professional technical communicators need to contribute our knowledge of good communication, clarity, and usability.

This article explores how labels differ from other types of documentation and best practices for writing and editing labels.

What are labels?

Labels are elements that help identify and explain parts of products. You can think of labels as mini-chunks of information that help users make correct choices about product use. When thinking of software, labels are all of the words associated ...