(Please) enter your name

I vividly remember this incident. While pursuing my undergraduate studies, we had an introductory class to C++.

We had to write a program that said, “Hello name” where the name came in from the user.

You had to write a line to prompt the user to enter their name. I wrote, “Please enter your name”.

My friend was sitting next to me. He looked at my screen and said, “Why are you adding please and all? Just say enter your name.”

Yes, it was not technically needed for the assignment we had, but I felt like I was designing it for an actual user and I did not want to command him/her.

I don’t know why, but it stuck in my head all along. It’s been a number of years since that happened. But, now as I look at the widespread technology and the different types of users, I realize the importance of language and culture. They play a crucial role in the user experience. It is important to be polite, emotionally connecting and culturally appropriate.

Here is an example of one of my favorite copies on the web,

I am glad I had my “please” in there.