Totally agree with this point of view. We've struggled with this decision before on many occasions.
Interestingly, any application or site we've built in the last few years refers to 'Your Profile' etc, anything earlier than that uses 'My Profile' etc
This is definitely something to consider when building an application, and it's easy to mix up. Even Apple doesn't get it 100% (Settings —> Phone —> My Number vs. Settings —> FaceTime —> "You can be reached by FaceTime at").
Ultimately, I think, it's more important to pick one and be consistent.
Refreshing to see some usual, good D Curtis reasoning to this decision, which has only been made on anecdotal assumptions to date.
I use "Yours" everywhere, except for the action buttons which I label for exemple "View MY profile". What do you think ?
Very insightful. I'd also be interested in a comparison of using these versus nothing, as in just "settings" or "profile."
Good point. I wonder if a pronoun is only helpful when it's associated with content that can be seen by other users. "Everyone's Tweets" vs "My Tweets" (or "Your Tweets"). Then you could use "Settings" and "My Profile".
One argument for using a possessive vs a second person pronoun is that many users think literally when looking for navigation. They're thinking, "where's my stuff?" or, "I want to see my stuff." When they see "your stuff", they have to do a tiny bit of cognitive work to recognize that as what they where looking for. Of course, if they don't know what "stuff"'is, the choice of pronoun isn't going to matter much.
Regardless, I think it's more important to pick one and then keep it consistent throughout the interface.
I've always thought about this. Interesting topic, interesting POV.
I'll go with "Your." I like the idea of my interface "talking" to me :)