[⏪ Rewind] 3. Naming with a little help from your friends

Previous: Setting the right tone

The question we hadn’t answered yet was what do we call this thing? Enter Marketing friends. Naming a feature is tricky. A great name should evoke your feature intuitively, stick in people’s minds, and be distinct from other features. It also needs to match with your brand, and in this case, be a thing that people would pay for.

We had several brainstorms to try to generate a bunch of different names that would also work in the product. Eventually this culminated in a bunch of names with emoji votes from the product team (I was the avocado).

But when we had tested rewind in the past through design research, it didn’t go so great. So from a product perspective I had some concerns about how we would integrate it.

Our localization team advised us that rewind translated fine, but that rewind the verb and rewind the noun were often different words in other languages. So we should avoid mixing and matching verb and noun usages.

To figure out what direction resonated with users, I tested 4 variants (8 users per variant, so 24 users total) through unmoderated user testing. 

1️⃣ Rewind (as the feature name)

Using the term as a feature and a noun. 

Full prototype

2️⃣ Rewind folder (verb usage)

Here the term was used only as a verb—in the same sense as move, upload, delete a folder. 

Full prototype

3️⃣ Undo with Rewind (focus on undoing)

Here we also tested rewind as a noun, but with a focus on undoing changes.

Full prototype

4️⃣ Folder history (descriptive terminology)

Referencing Rewind initially, but focusing on more descriptive terms. 

Full prototype


Turns out that with every variant that we tried, users regularly used rewind as a verb when describing the feature.

Dropbox has this new feature where you can rewind to a certain time. If something goes wrong you don’t have to stress out about it.

—User testing participant describing the feature

After some consultations with our lawyer friends, marketing counterparts, and localization folks, I put together an internal talk about it doc to make sure that rewind the word was used consistently across marketing, support, help center, and amongst people on the street.

Next: Rewind the word