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7:6 Use Descriptive Tab Labels

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7:6 Use Descriptive Tab Labels

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 3 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 3 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline




Ensure that tab labels are clearly descriptive of their function or destination.


Users like tabs when they have labels that are descriptive enough to allow error-free selections. When tab labels cannot be made clear because of the lack of space, do not use tabs.


  • Allinson, L. & Hammond, N. (1999). A learning support environment: The hitch-hiker’s guide. In R. McAleese (Ed.), Hypertext: Theory into Practice (pp. 53-63). Exeter, UK: Intellect Books.
  • Badre, A.N. (2002). Shaping Web Usability: Interaction Design in Context. Boston, MA: Addison Wesley Professional.
  • Koyani, S.J. (2001b, April). WCCO/ACS findings. National Cancer Institute, Communication Technologies Branch.

Poor Example:

These tab labels are not as descriptive, which leaves the user in doubt about the type of information available on the destination pages.


Good Example:

These tab labels describe the types of information a user can expect to find on the destination pages.