Understanding the interface you work with

From time to time, I am designing websites. For fun, for friends, for learning purposes. It was recently that I learned a small but interesting lesson about user interfaces.

I had designed a website that had a slider on its homepage that showed the last three “featured” news articles. The setup was fairly easy. All the users had to do was to flag a checkmark “Featured” and upload an image that was big enough. However, it never took off, with me questioning what was the problem. PEBCAK? (Google that)

After some time, I decided to change the label of the checkmark from “featured” to “slider”. 10 seconds work.

But it worked. Apparently, the users never understood “featured” but did understand “slider”.

So, whenever you design a website for somebody, make sure they understand how the backend works. Speak their language.