Blog 5

1. What is the goal of a label?

The goal of a label is to effectively communicate by causing the right association for the user while also ensuring not to take up too much physical space or the users cognitive resources.

2. Why is labelling an important aspect of web site design?

Labelling is important to web design because web communications are vastly different to real world communications and labels aid the process by providing the users with visual clues to educate them about new concepts and help them find familiar ones.

3. What are the aspects of a good labelling system?

As is was stated before, a good labelling system should ease communication with the users and ensure that they find what they need with minimal effort and time.

4. List and describe the types/varieties of labels?

  • URLs
    • acquire a keyword-rich domain
    • descriptive and brief
    • use hyphens rather than underscores
  • Page titles
    • should be 64 characters or less according to W3C
    • give users a basic understanding of the page
  • Contextual links
    • hyperlinks to other pages
  • Headings
  • Textual labels
  • Iconic labels
    • provide a more visual representation of the content
  • Index terms
    • can describe any content
    • represent the meaning of the content

5. Why do index terms facilitate faster searching and make browsing easier?

Index terms make searching faster and easier by providing broader results. This is accomplished by searching for keywords related to the search term as well rather than solely that term.

6. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using iconic labels.


  • More aesthetically pleasing
  • Easier to recognise than textual labels


  • Limited conveyance of meaning when compared to text
  • Riskier to use in most cases

7. What is the purpose of “scope notes”?

Scope notes are used to decrease any ambiguity and provide more accurate results. Scope notes allow the system to recognize some comparable terms as well, further increasing the accuracy of results.

8. How do homonyms and synonyms affect label design?

Homonyms and synonyms can mean different things depending on their context. Because of their ambiguity it is recommended to avoid using either of these when designing labels.

9. Why is it important to be consistent when designing a labelling system?

Consistency means that the system will be relatively predictable and allow users to learn how to effectively use the site quicker.

10. Why is it better to have a narrower scope when designing labels?

It is best to focus on a particular topic relating to a specific audience. This allows for more better tailored content rather than broad but mediocre content.

11. List and describe the key issues that affect the consistency of a labelling system.

  • Style
  • Presentation
  • Syntax
  • Granularity
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Audience

12. What are the main sources of labelling systems?

  • Your own site
  • Comparable and competitive sites
  • Controlled vocabularies and thesauri

13. Create a labelling table for a web site of your choice. Comment on the quality of the labelling system. Are there any inconsistencies? How would you improve the labelling system?

14. What are the advantages of using controlled vocabularies and thesauri as a source for labelling systems? Provide some examples of controlled vocabulary and thesauri resources.

Controlled vocabularies and thesauri are generally created by professionals with subject-specific or library backgrounds to ensure accurate representation and consistency. Examples:

  • Taxonomy Warehouse
  • ThesauriOnline
  • Controlled vocabularies
  • Web Thesaurus Compendium

15. Describe the three most important sources for creating a new labelling system.

  • Content authors
  • User advocates and subject matter experts
  • Users



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