Pattern: Make the Purpose of Your Page Clear

User Need

I can easily see the context and purpose of the page.

Description

Use a clear title or heading that summarizes the purpose of a page, or other clear signposts that have been tested by users with cognitive disabilities.

How it Helps

This helps many people, including those with poor memory and attention as well as anyone who is easily distracted due to age-appropriate forgetfulness and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

For example, someone with mild dementia is using online shopping. They get distracted and then when they look at the screen again they have forgotten what they were doing. A clear heading at the top of each page shows clearly what the page is about and what they are doing.

In another example, a user with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is looking for information in a video. They can tell by the video title that this video is has the information they need.

More Details

Headings need to clarify the purpose of this specific page.

When possible, provide information to help users understand how they got to the page. For example: breadcrumbs, clearly indicated on main navigation, highlighting currently selected tab, etc.)

Examples

Use

  • Headings tell me exactly where I am.

Avoid

  • Headings do not clarify the steps in a form;
  • A page heading reads "Service not available." The user has to remember what they were doing to know what service this is about.