Let this be a public warning to all who would consort with words of ill repute online. We’ve rounded up these despicable, unrepenting, unredeemable words in one place, and now we will watch them pay for their crimes.

Let the Public Execution Begin

These words would worm their way into your website headings, navigation bars, and wayfinding. You must not give in to their dastardly schemes or else you will be found just as guilty. Many of you have been complicit in their evil deeds! Count yourself lucky not to be amongst them on the executioner’s block today.

Their use and wrongdoings have long been prolific and widespread, but no more. See how they squirm and flinch now, exposed separately with nowhere to hide. One by one, we will read these words their crimes and assign their punishments.

Word Criminal: “Additional”
For your redundancy, character count, and uselessness. Examples of unspeakable deeds from you and your friends include “Additional Info,” “Additional Links” and “Additional Resources.” We hereby sentence you to decapitation by guillotine.

Word Criminal: “Center”
For being nebulous about whether you are an actual physical place, or only a poorly named and lazy title for mostly-unorganized content, you will be hanged by the neck until dead. Hearing just a small number of your transgressions would make grown men weep. We will name only a few: “Resource Center,” “Knowledge Center,” and “Information Center.”

Word Criminal: “Click”
For over-explaining something that should be made obvious by link styling and attempting to steal the hover state’s respected stature, you will die by electrocution.

Word Criminal: “Extra”
For adding clutter by way of unnecessary content and frequently consorting with “Links” in your treacherous deeds, you will be impaled and your head put on a stake as a warning to others.

Word Criminal: “Helpful”
For never being helpful but tricking users each time into thinking you might be, it’s the firing squad for you.

Word Criminal: “Here”
Like your nefarious associate “Click,” you’ve been found guilty of link-splaining and robbing users of their ability to scan the words around you. For your aggravated crimes, we will pile stones on your chest until you stop breathing.

The Word Criminal Group: “Here at…”
You remind us of the painfully obvious and, like your kin “Here,” over-explain as if we were all a group of morons. Listen to your crime against our town blacksmith in horror: “Here at Acme Blacksmith Shop, we believe in creating the best horseshoes for your needs.” You will be dragged through the lake until the water fills your lungs.

Word Criminals: “Info and Information”
A meaningless duo, you’d like everyone to believe you’re the only true information on any screen. Prepare to be tarred and feathered and left in the woods to die.

Word Criminal: “Important”
You’re finished pretending that everything around you is less important. For your pomposity, we’ve named the very crime of self-importance after you. We sentence you to the iron maiden.

Word Criminal: “Links”
For the crimes you’ve committed alongside “Helpful” of overstating the obvious and encouraging huge lists no user can scan, a long and drawn out session on the rack until dead.

Word Criminal: “Other”
For refusing to abide by the rules of categorization and creating a junk pile that paves the way for future crimes against content length, you will be burned alive at the stake.

Word Criminal: “Quick”
For being not quick but an excuse for lazy navigation and categorization, and for never being as efficient as you claim, you will be drawn and quartered.

Word Criminal: “Resource(s)”
In your singular or in your plural, you are a vile scoundrel of a word, always vague and never giving users what you promised. We will only name a few of your insidious crimes: “Resource Center,” “More Resources,” and “Additional Resources.” We will disembowel you and leave your corpse as example to other ambiguous and shifty words.

Word Criminal: “Solutions”
For sounding like something that will help us with everything but all too often helps with nothing, you’ll be flayed and your skin tacked up to the doors of the gathering house.

Word Criminal: “Tool” alias “Tools”
For making us guess what we’ll find when we visit you and only rarely containing the tool we actually needed, you’ll be cooked in an oven.

Word Criminal: “Toolbox”
Even worse than your brother, Tools. For your attempt to be two words in one, your vagueness, and sounding like someplace to keep a hammer, you’ll be boiled in oil.

Word Criminal Gang: “Whether You’re…”
We introduce you with your crime against the meeting hall: “Whether you’re holding a meeting for a few friends, a larger group, or the whole town, the meeting hall is right for you.” Filth! For introducing nothing but insipid marketing claptrap when users wanted clear and direct content, we will put you in an arena full of wild beasts. Whether you’re finished first by the bears, wolves, or boars will remain to be seen.

All of these word criminals have received their just condemnations! But don’t breathe so easy yet. Any of you found in the company of these words by writing them or suggesting their services to others, is equally guilty and punishable. If you have found yourself participating in such sinful and criminal acts as to fraternize with these words, change your ways now lest you meet a similar fate.

A Note From the Execut—er…Content Strategist
Seriously, don’t use these words and phrases for labels, navigation items, or really anything else. Let’s get serious about creating meaningful, precise, user-focused web content. If we don’t, we can’t blame our users for wanting to put us on the rack.


About truematter

Our team has been doing the real work of user experience since the earliest days of the commercial web. We’re out to make your digital products a whole lot better.

Rest assured that when you work with us, your website will never end up in the shame of the stocks or with its head on a stake.

Author: @baileysendsword
Illustrations: Daniel Machado
Medieval Execution Consulting: @krisblack