Here at Haden Interactive, we feel that content is the most foundational part of any good marketing campaign. Words tell search engines what your site is about and give people the information they most need.
Those words are important enough that we look at them very closely. Like, down to the connotations and effects of individual words.
A prime example is the Account area of a site. Account areas can be called many things and generally appear when a site has ecommerce or a premium section. From time to time you may even see an account that just allows you to store your favorite things. How we present this tool on our sites makes a difference in perception, usability and overall user experience.
Typically, the Accounts area is labeled with either first person (“My Account”) or second person (“Your Account”). Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each one.
(Spoiler: So often it comes down to what your audience needs, which is an entirely different question.)
My Account, My Cart, My Shopping Bag: we see these on banking sites but that is not the only place we find it. Commonly visited sites that use first person POV include Chase and Google Play. Here are a few key points:
- Possessive – By preceding the account with ‘my’ you allow the user to feel the possession of it. It is an account and it belongs to them.
- One-sided – It completely removes the computer/site from the equation, allowing for a more DIY approach.
- Secure – Since it shows both possession and a single point of ownership, it can heighten the feeling of security.
Your Account, Your Cart, Your Shopping Bag; we see this on sites that are a little more casual, generally, but still require a sign in area. Amazon uses this terminology as does Netflix. Here are a few key points:
- Shared – By preceding the account with ‘your’ the user is made to understand that there is another party implied. Amazon, for instance, has multiple vendors and stating ‘your’ implies that yours (consumer) is separate from ours (providers).
- Collaborative – “Your Shopping Bag” is seen as a paraphrase of the sentence “Here is your shopping bag.” Second person allows a more conversational feeling to enter the transaction.
- Open– This isn’t to say that second person isn’t a secure feeling point of view. This is merely an extension of the conversation feeling we saw before. People can share posts, wish lists, and announce activities on social media with ease.
Know your audience! If you sell a product that requires privacy and a single contact, the first person is probably the way to go. If your product is aided by sharing, communication, and continued return to your site, then second person is the way to go.
There is a lot of discussion about what is best and a lot of confusion about how to find the answers. Ask your questions or voice your objections in the comments below!