CSE5910 : Multimedia Programming in Java

Lecture : Labelling

In the previous lecture:

In this lecture:

Why do we need to think about labelling?

Labelling is what we (humans) do... all the time!

We should be pretty good at it. Can you think of something without labelling it? Which things can you think of without labelling?

Have a guess at what's inside these tin cans.

Any idea? ...don't make your software's users guess what your software will do when they click on a button. Don't make them guess what a user manual entry refers to. Don't make them guess when they operate a menu what it will do...

Label your software and its documentation carefully!

A labelling system is just any coherent means of representing the objects or concepts that you need to explain within your software or other document.

What a labelling system says about the information provider.

Cool New Stuff

Latest additions

Order Processing & Despatch

Sales & Delivery

Project A41-277.3

Cancer Treatment Project

What are the different messages a user receives from the pairs above?


Using Textual Labels

If you can find a commonly-used/conventional label then half the battle is won, especially when it comes to finding labels to assist navigation around a complex user interface.

Main Menu, File Menu, Edit Menu, View Menu

Search, Find, Browse, Search/Browse, Site Map, Contents, Table of Contents, Index

Contact, Contact Us, Feedback, Comments, Support , Help

Help, FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions

Preferences, Presets, Favourites

About, About Us, About <Company Name>, Company Information, Information

Button Labels Map Labels (with sample icons) More Map Labels (with sample icons) Software Menu Labels

--- Hiking Trail

--- Walking Path


Walkers Only


Wooded Area




Write to Disk



...hopefully you can see that the exact label you give is determined to a large extent by its context. Any old label you dream up will not do.


Conventional and unconventional labels sometimes benefit from a simple explanation the first time they appear.


Search the online help index by keyword or browse with our help map


E-mail our technical staff with your problems or call our customer hotline


Information about our company: its history, policies and the people who make it tick

From then on (as always)... be consistent (across the entire site, document, software interface, not just within a single page or screen of information.

Textual labels may be used as headings

Labels often describe the section (page/paragraph etc.) of information that follows them.


Try removing the text content from between headings to highlight any strengths or weaknesses.

Editing Video

  • Using the Monitor window
  • Displaying a clip
    • To view a clip
  • Using Monitor window controllers
    • To customize the monitor window view
    • To play the Source or Program view
    • To view a different frame
    • To jog or shuttle through frames
  • Using the Timeline window
  • Moving around in the Timeline
    • To move the edit line in the Timeline
    • To display the timeline in more detail
    • To display more of the program in the timeline

Headings from the Adobe Premiere User's Guide

Video Editing

  • The Monitor Window
  • Displaying a clip
    • Clip - viewing
  • Controllers on the Monitor Window
    • Customizing the monitor window's view
    • To play the Source or Program view
    • To see a different frame
    • Shuttle/Jog frames
  • Timeline Window
  • To move around in the Timeline window
    • The edit line
    • Detail
    • How to display more program in the timeline window

How not to label sections of the Adobe Premiere User's Guide

Sources For Textual Labelling Systems

Using Iconic Labels

Icon, an image used to represent an

  • Object

  • Action
  • Property

  • Concept

Things to consider when choosing between icons and text

  • The choice will depend on the application!

  • Well designed icons can be recognized faster than text

  • Icons may take less screen space than text

  • Icons can be language independent

  • Text / words have well known meanings

  • Text / words have strong connotations

  • There are around half a million well defined words in English.

  • There are only a few well defined icons

Designing icons

Sources For Iconic Labels

A B C D 1 2 3 4 ! @ # $ %



Lecture summary:


CSE5910 Courseware | CSE5910 Lecture Notes