Summary: "The dialog box appears"

Subject: Summary: "The dialog box appears"
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 13:13:43 -0600

A week or so ago, I asked for opinions on whether it is
better to use wording such as "the dialog box appears"
(present tense) or "the dialog box will appear" (future
tense). Nobody cited any usability (or other) studies that
demonstrated any difference between the two wordings, but
the consensus was nonetheless that present tense is
preferable: it's more common, it reflects the user's
immediate experience, it avoids the problem of "_when_ does
it appear?", and it's shorter. In the absence of any
usability studies, I'd class these supposed benefits as
"hypotheses to be proven"; however, because the approach is
what users have come to expect, the greater familiarity
would certainly compensate for any hypothetical lack of
difference in usability between the two approaches. Thanks
to all who responded.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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