What’s another word for “parameter” in the context of a user interface showing read-only values coming from a device

I’m building a user interface for a program which connects to some external device. Among other things, the UI displays certain values being reported by the device, which in English I’ve grouped under the category of “parameters” (as opposed to “settings” since the user cannot change their values). You can think of these as temperature, how many hours the device has been running, etc.

The word I’m looking for is one in a list of other words, which logically group the functionality and are listed in a navigation pane; these are things like Logs, Settings, Firmware, etc.

The UI will be used by technicians (end-users) and engineers (superusers), and will be offered in Germany and localized to both English and German, where I’m told that German users using the English interface will interpret ‘parameter‘ as “setting”, meaning a value that the user can change, since this is the most common meaning of the German word ‘Parameter‘. I argued (unsuccessfully) that 1) the usage of the word in English is correct, and 2) that the term ‘Parameter’ in German also seems to mean “a value which is held constant”1.

Alternatives like ‘properties‘ and ‘characteristics‘ were suggested, but I’m not convinced by either as they could be misinterpreted as referring to physical properties or characteristics of the device itself (i.e. the hardware and not the values being reported by it). I’m not partial to ‘status‘ either as it could be confused with the status of the connection to the device, and, because of design, having a category labeled ‘Status’ simply doesn’t gel with the rest of the labels. If I can’t find a better alternative, though, this would probably be the closest I’ll be able to get.

Can you think of another word to group and label these values in a user interface, which stresses the fact that they are read-only values and therefore not editable?


Sounds like your information display is a “readout.” If so, the information as a whole is also called “the readout” and the individual items are “readings.”

readout — computers : a small screen that shows information; also : the information shown on such a screen — http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/readout

reading — noun 5. [countable] a number or amount shown on a piece of measuring equipment — http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/reading#reading__7

state — (might fit better than “status”) — noun 1. the condition of something at a particular time — http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/state_1

Source : Link , Question Author : user19407 , Answer Author : lauir

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