There is plenty of content on each and every site we visit. That includes catchy headlines, longer descriptions and… texts on various buttons. We don’t usually pay attention to them, or at least we think that we don’t, because those short phrases have a huge impact on user experiences. That’s why UX writing is such an crucial, yet sometimes disregarded part of every website. But how should it be prepared to appeal to the viewers?
What is UX writing?
The concept of UX writing has become popular when the enormous impact of user experience (UX) on sales and conversions was discovered. This idea implies that all the interfaces in new programs, websites and other technological products should reflect human logic, not a machine thinking known only by developers. UX techniques should make it easier to use an app or a device, but it also should add some emotional value to it.
UX writing is an important part of this assumption. This type of writing includes creating a content that appears on a particular website in such a way that it is easily understandable for the customers. Its main aim is to encourage users to act in a desirable, planned way. UX writing is mostly used for preparing short headlines, category names or even phrases on the buttons, also known as microcopy. Sometimes UX also includes long passages of text created to meet the needs of SEO or descriptive paragraphs used for subpages of products and categories. The main aim of all this content is to show the user the best way to navigate through the interface so he could find the functions or products he’s seeking for.
Microcopy on a website: how should it look like?
It may seem that the entire idea of UX writing is fairly simple. However, adjusting all the microcopy to the needs of particular project may not be so obvious. There are a few simple ways to turn the rigid scheme into a user-friendly message that can accompany the customers during their journey through the website.
- Adjust the content to the users. Using a professional jargon is not always a good idea. There are some industries that may find this approach appealing. Still, majority of customers would prefer to read short, simple sentences that make it easier to understand the message.
- Create clear content. A page full of letters is discouraging even for the first-graders and their parents usually share their hatred for long texts. A number of researches have proven that readers mostly read the content in a F-shaped scanning pattern. Thus titles, first paragraphs and headlines are more likely to catch user’s attention. Make them count!
- Choose the right words. Sophisticated sentences will not impress a potential customer. Choosing the words that are used by your target audience on daily basis is a much better option. Friendly approach will prove to be much more engaging for the user and they will make his journey more personal and more pleasant.
- Focus on key points. Does your page have 8 different search options? Choose 3 of them and do not force users to read a long sentence. Do not use clichés – highest quality, unique solutions and reasonable prices are a part of an offer of every single company. Make yours stand out!
- Be consistent. Do not change a tone, font or style on every site you create. Make up your mind and choose one solution that fits your brand best and use it at all times on the website or in an app. It also applies to graphics and technical elements.
- Make messages easy to read. Call-to-action is a great tool, but it is truly effective when customer knows which one to use. Dozens of buttons appearing out of nowhere, pop-up windows or unexpected messages can make a customer leave before the page loads. Choose just one form that is to attract user’s attention and use best practices to make it stand out.
- Read the mind of your target audience. Be in your customers’ shoes and choose the topics that are most interesting for them. UX writing should answer users’ questions and doubts. All the content can be tailored to their needs with extensive research that can show you the best opportunities for the growth.
- Be engaging. Customer may find your website by accident – make sure that he wants to stay there longer. Choose catchy headlines and buttons that can encourage a user to browse further.
- Get to know the culture. Each country and region have its own particularities that can either help you or stop you from succeeding. Get to know local type of language, make use of regional traditions and help you content become a part of country’s culture to improve your UX solutions.
- Do not be afraid of tests! Each and every website is different and they all require different solutions. Test them to find out which one are the best match for your goals.
UX not as scary as it looks
UX writing may seem complicated at the start. Each and every text or phrase written to fit its purpose have to contain a main idea aiming to reach a target audience. Using such an idea in each button, headline and text is the key to success not only in UX, but also in an effective sales.