When refering to a users stuff should you use My or Your, for example:

My Cart | My Account | My Wishlist


Your Cart | Your Account | Your Wishlist

I found this article that argues for the use of your. It says flikr does this. It also says MySpace and MyYahoo are wrong.

I also noticed today that Amazon uses the term Your. However, I have heard they are the masters at testing variations and finding the best one, so what you see on their site might be the best variation, or simply something they are currently testing.

I personally like the way my looks better, but thats just my opinion.

What do you think? What will hever the better impact on customers? Does it really even matter?

  • 13
    I prefer "Your". Another good site to ask this on may be UI.stackexchange.com.
    – Adam Lear
    Feb 18 '11 at 14:38
  • 3
    See User Profile, My Account, or just Settings? on the UI site.
    – ChrisF
    Feb 18 '11 at 14:39
  • 1
    I didn't realize there was a UI site, Thanks guys.
    – JD Isaacks
    Feb 18 '11 at 14:41
  • 1
    Don't take Amazon as a good example, it's an antiquated site and they've got rather bad usability.
    – user8685
    Feb 18 '11 at 14:41
  • 1
    @Developer Art: Maybe it's just that I've got used to it, but I find Amazon to be one of the easier shopping sites.
    – Zan Lynx
    Feb 18 '11 at 21:02

Use "My" everywhere.

"Yours" creates a psychological barrier between the site and the user, communicating the message that the user is just a user and is only one of many.

  • 1
    Using "My" also creates the illusion that the object belongs to the user instead of the corporation/business, and people are more likely to take care of their own stuff than others
    – Rachel
    Feb 18 '11 at 14:41
  • @Rachel, that's a brilliant observation!
    – user8685
    Feb 18 '11 at 14:44
  • 3
    This is a great question. At first glance I was in the "your" camp. But really, if I'm shopping online, I don't want to see your cart, I want to see my cart. 'My' empowers the user by giving them the feeling of ownership.
    – Ben L
    Feb 18 '11 at 14:44
  • Windows uses "my" convention. My Documents. My Pictures...
    – Qyuubi
    Feb 18 '11 at 15:04
  • 1
    Using "My" also makes more sense to distinguish areas populated by user (My Wishlist, My Cart) from others. It is also a brilliant example how a small, nearly meaningless word makes a huge difference for a lot of people. Feb 18 '11 at 16:28

Keep in mind that My or Your can be a component of the branding as with MySpace and not contextual as would be Your Cart or My Cart.

I would ditch both.

Cart Account Wishlist

My and Your are an attempt to bring personalization into the product. IMHO it simply adds un-needed fluff and yet another word spread across a product the brain must process.

If we've learned anything from the successful start-ups over the past few years, it's that simplicity wins. Let's not revert back to over personalization and un-needed verbiage.

  • 1
    I agree, but there are many who like the "My.." syntax. People apparently like fake familiarity.
    – Michael K
    Feb 18 '11 at 14:40
  • They may like the syntax at the infancy of the product...but the value diminishes almost immediately once the user becomes familiar with the product. There is no lasting value. Feb 18 '11 at 14:42
  • I agree, when referring to the links commonly put on the top of the page linking to the cart or account. but when you access the page, I think the heading just "Account" will seem odd.
    – JD Isaacks
    Feb 18 '11 at 14:44
  • How about prefix them all with "The": "The Cart", "The Account", "The Wishlist"? :P Feb 18 '11 at 15:20
  • Such prefixes rarely bear any useful information. They only make sense, when you want to distinguish between "your / our" ... for example "offer". Feb 18 '11 at 15:57

From my experience, using "Your" is better. An article on A List Apart says that "Your" is preferable especially for children.

An article on the Yahoo! developer network makes a good point about the issue:

Labeling stuff with "My" imitates the point of view of the user. It is as if the user has printed out labels and stuck them to various objects: My Lunch, My Desk, My Red Stapler. Except the user hasn't done this; you (the site) did it for them.

Labeling stuff with "Your" instead reinforces the conversational dialogue. It is how another human being might address you when talking about your stuff. Even with MySpace, people say things like "I saw what you put on your MySpace."

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