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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast dmj1973's Avatar
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    Question Call to Action. Punctuation and Branding

    Hi,

    I am looking for a fairly quick response on a simple question.

    I work for a large fortune 500 company with a strong brand identity. I am employed as a web designer / developer and I spend my time designing UI and UX.

    I was recently asked to create an ad containing a small amount of descriptive text and a call to action. The call to action was "Learn how >" the > representing a graphical arrow.

    I was then asked by the brand team to make it "Learn how. >" which to me looks incorrect. I also asked the rest of my development team how this "felt" to them. The said it felt incorrect to them also. It was pointed out the on a login / logout button we wouldnt put "login." just "login"

    So my feeling is that this is an unwritten "rule" of Web Design.

    Paraphrasing Steve Krug - Author of "Dont make me think" unnecessary / unexpected punctuation causes a user to think and that many instances can lose a user.

    What are your thoughts on the punctuation conundrum above ? I refer specifically to the question regarding "learn how" not the punctuation in this post ! lol

    So what are you thoughts ?

    Thanks for reading and thank you to anyone who may chose to give me thier opinion.

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Well, visually the period is just plain ugly. The point of a period is to distinguish one sentence or idea from another. There's no point in having it if the phrase or sentence stands alone, as in this case. The ">" is, in its own way, a kind of punctuation itself, and generally, it's better not to mix punctuation.

    In this case, the period is distracting, so will distract the user and take attention away from the purpose of the words—which is to get the user to click the button!

    If the "boss" insists on something like this, a better option might be an ellipsis (the three trailing dots). E.g.

    Code:
    Learn how …
    In this case, the arrow would be out of place, though.

    Note that the ellipsis is not just three periods, but is a character in its own right. Separate it from the preceding word with a space.

    You can get this symbol by clicking Option + the semicolon key (Mac) or Ctrl + Alt + the period key (PC).

    You can encode it with …

  3. #3
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Ugh, the aesthetics of ugly punctuation!

    Putting a full stop there is horrible, and unnecessary. You only need to punctuate sentences, and that isn't a sentence; it's a fragment, so the normal rules don't apply.

    OK, so technically "Learn more" could be a full sentence (although that isn't the case here), in which case it would be an imperative/instruction, and so would need to be terminated with an exclamation mark instead of a full stop. And if your branding team thinks that looks better then you need to keep them away from sharp objects...

    Point them to pretty much any other website out there and look for that kind of punctuation - it isn't there. It isn't there because it's an unnecessary, ugly distraction.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Learn More.

    even without the arrow is also rather bad. The lack of a period leads the user, and as others have noted, calls to action (esp within buttons) usually don't have punctuation.

    If you would like some 3rd-party opinions-mixed-with-research to show someone at work:

    Call to Action Buttons Best Practices Guide - UX Movement

    I was just using this the other day to convince a boss that we switch our buttons to Title Case.

    You can get this symbol by clicking Option + the semicolon key (Mac) or Ctrl + Alt + the period key (PC).
    For those using a Real text editor:
    CTRL+v then type u and the 4 digit unicode point (do this in INSERT mode).

    : )

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast dmj1973's Avatar
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    Smile

    Thankyou guys for replying. The insights that you provided armed me for my meeting.

    The descision was made prior to me seeing Stomee Poes post. the Brand Mgr Descision ... Title Case no punctuation. Yay

    Thanks again for you responses.


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