Tweetdeck Column Terminology

Tweetdeck column terminology

Following a comment made by @segelstrom, I decided to try Tweetdeck again. However, when setting up my columns I was confused by the names of the columns, so I decided to check the documentation. I found the column descriptions and names on Twitter’s web confusing. Below are the column names and their descriptions as written on the help page as of September 23, 2013.

  • Timeline: Home timeline for a specific account (any account)
  • Interactions: Interactions for a specific account, including when the account’s Tweets are retweeted, favorited, or mentioned, and also includes when users follow the account
  • Mentions: Only includes when users mention a specific account
  • Followers: Follow activity for a specific account
  • Messages: Direct messages for a specific account
  • Search: A column for a specific search term
  • Lists: Assign or create a list to be displayed within a column
  • Tweets: Tweets from a specific account
  • Favorites: Tweets marked as favorites from a specific account
  • Trends: A column dedicated to specific worldwide trends
  • Activity: What’s happening with the accounts you follow
  • Inbox: Direct messages from all your authorized accounts in aggregate
  • Scheduled: Your scheduled Tweets

I suggest the following/need the following explanations:

  • Timeline: I think the explanation should read “Tweets from people one of your accounts follows.”
  • Interactions: I think the description of the interaction column is great.
  • Mentions: I propose the following wording of the description: “Mentions for one of your accounts”
  • Followers: I think the description should be “Shows when people follow you”, avoid using the term “activity” as you use this for your Activity column.
  • Messages: I propose a change of wording of the description to “Direct messages sent and received for a specific account.”
  • Search: No ambiguity here.
  • Lists: A note specifying that these are not lists saved on Twitter would be nice.
  • Tweets: Perhaps renaming the column to My Tweets, or at least specifying the wording of the description to: “Tweets made by one of your added accounts” (in contrast to tweets from any selected twitter user).
  • Favorites: Improve wording of description to: “Tweets one of your accounts has marked as a Favorite”.
  • Trends: The description should read: “Create a search column for a currently trending topic”, as this column does not display currently trending topics.
  • Activity: This is a strange column. First, the name of the column would be much clearer if if was Activity from people I follow, but as this is to long, perhaps Others’ activity or Follow’s activity, might work. Also, the description needs to read more like the description of the Interactions column, e.g. “Shows the activity of the people you follow, including their favorites, follows, excluding their tweets and retweets.”
  • Inbox: I propose you change the wording to “Sent and received direct messages from all your accounts.”. The name of the column could also be changed to All messages, as it does not only contain received messages. This also shows its relation to the Messages column.
    Scheduled: No ambiguity here.
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An example of why terminology matters in user interface design

Why we are so angry is because apple has named this function wrong it is not full screen. Far from it, apple calls it full screen but in reality It is single application mode.

This is why terminology matters. Terminology is an equally important part of user interface design as graphical design and interaction design. In the same way the form of a graphical widget imputes certain assumptions about its function, terms impute assumptions about which concept they represent.