Does the term ‘Microcopy’ seem alien to you?
Well, you’re not alone!
Simply put, Microcopy refers to the tiny words that guide you on what to do and where, shaping a huge portion of your overall User Experience. The objective of UX Microcopy is to inform, guide, and engage the users of your product. It helps create a chain of memorability, clarity, and usability.
Imagine trying to log-in to a website, and not knowing what any of the labels mean. Or a pop-up screen asking you to enter your email, but an unrelated CTA button. This could come true without good UX Writing.
Examples of Microcopy that you might have seen while navigating online:
- Call-to-action buttons (CTAs)
- Error messages
- Pop-up Banners
- Log-in/Sign-up prompts
- Live Chatbots
- Emails/WhatsApp messages
- In-app experiences
While Microcopy stretches far beyond these limited examples, it is broadly defined as ‘copy that helps you make an action’. Your favourite apps and websites wouldn’t be the same without good content guiding your experience. So, the next time you fill a form or press a CTA button, remember the role microcopy played in guiding you to the action!
Ironically, though being an integral part of the design process, UX content often ends up being ignored. Often considered an afterthought, the design process ends up being significantly slowed down due to poorly-shaped content.
Does your team need a UX Writing Specialist?
Ideally, every single Product team should have a UX Copy expert.
Traditionally, UI/UX copy has been taken care of primarily by Designers themselves. However, improving your UX copy can greatly help enhance your experience and make a difference to your product. An expert can help you do just that.
The gap has subsequently resulted in the rise of writers that focus exclusively on Microcopy: the UX writers. Essentially a part of the design team, the UX Writer is primarily responsible for all UX-related content. They often work closely with UX Designers, taking care of the language, guidance, and information- parallel to the visual design.
Hiring an expert to frame your content can help in more ways than one, and save you time in the long run. Here’s how an expert can help:
#1 Reduces confusion
The power of good copy has been underestimated for far too long. Simply by removing complicated words, making your content less text-heavy, and putting clear & concise labels on your product, you can enhance your product’s experience significantly.
#2 Informs and guides the User
If your copy fails to correctly inform and guide your user, it’s time for a revamp. Picture this: A shopping experience where none of the signs are correctly labelled. With a bad experience, your user is very less likely to return to using your product for the second time.
#3 Reduces development time
A content-driven approach leads to fewer design changes (who doesn’t love that?), clear-cut understanding of the features, and saving time on design interactions.The next time you make design and copy go hand-in-hand, your design can be pushed to development much faster!
#4 Copy that is Conversational
With Human-Computer interaction advancing rapidly, your content should fit seamlessly with your experience. A conversational, naturally-flowing copy will make your user feel familiar and related to the product. So, the next time you write a CTA, experiment with free-flowing copy and see the difference!
#5 Creates a consistent Tone and Voice for your brand
A consistent voice and tone for your brand helps define how you communicate with the user.
- Brand Voice: What does your brand stand for? What is the product about? Your brand’s Voice helps the user understand your message in a concise way.
- Brand Tone: Your target audience defines the type of Tone you communicate in. Is it empathetic, fun, or serious?
Make design and copy go hand-in-hand.
A common problem faced by Writers and Designers is establishing the design process. When visualizing design requirements, it is imperative to create an approach that optimizes the process. Often, UX Copy ends up being the last step in the process.
The best way to make your UX Content shine, is to create your experience with a Content-First approach. Essentially, it means establishing your content before you start visualizing your design. By defining your product basis the content, you create an identity that is functional, clear, and concise.
How to implement this approach:
#1 Do your research
Research your content requirements! Understand your core message/user journey, and define how you want to communicate the same to your users. Even a little research goes a long way.
#2 Design to support the content
Create designs that help support and enhance the content. Instead of constantly tweaking your copy to fit the design, try a reverse approach.
#3 Define desired outcomes
Be specific with what you want your content to do. Are you fixing something that isn’t broken? Define what your CTAs, pop-up messages, reward systems, etc mean for your product, and how your content can increase your outcomes.
With UX Copywriting rapidly rising in the world of UX, a resourceful writer can help create long-lasting, memorable user experiences. Your product’s User journey deserves some good content!
Vrinda Aggarwal is a guest author on Difference by Design. If you’ve interesting ideas to share, find out more about submitting a Guest blog here