Copy writing is often neglected in favour of the graphic design and the coding. It’s just not as sexy as those things. But the User Experience depends as much on the words you use and the content your present as the box you put it in and the way it is organized. We’ve got some simple tips that may help improve your users’ experience without breaking the bank:
Talk to The User
The word “you” is an incredibly powerful word. It changes your text from passive and general to a warm letter to your user. Let’s see it in action:
“This camera has 20 megapixels and creates exciting photographs.”
Is much better as:
“When you own this 20 megapixel camera; you’ll be able to take the best photographs of your life.”
Don’t Talk Endlessly About Yourself
This is really a corollary to “Talk to The User”. Think about the most boring people you know; one of the most likely characteristics they have is that they never stop talking about themselves. They don’t stop to consider you in the conversation at all. A 60 minute monologue on “what I did on my holidays” might be awesome when delivered by your favourite comedian; when it’s delivered by a bloke in the pub – it’s normally just the opposite.
Keep the focus of your text firmly on your users and resist the temptation to go on (and often on and on and on) about yourselves.
Flesch-Kincaid is Your Friend
Author/Copyright holder: Verve Search. Copyright terms and licence: All rights reservedImg source
Readability counts. The most popular newspapers in the world can be easily read by an 7-8 year old child. If you don’t know how to check your copy for readability use the Flesch-Kincaid tool to find out. Think about your users and always communicate at their lowest common level – aim too high and you’ll bore/confuse those who can’t keep up.
Make it Human
Have you ever heard a small child read aloud? They sound a bit like a robot right? That’s because they haven’t quite got the fluency of copy down to a fine art (which is fine – that’s what childhood is for – learning how to do things better). Read the text out loud on half a dozen websites and you’ll soon find plenty of examples where the text is robot-like. If you read your copy aloud and it doesn’t sound like a natural conversation with a customer; change it until it does.
Pick Up an Axe
A lot of copy just goes on and on without going anywhere. That’s because writers are wordy people. Sadly, most customers don’t want to read those words. To make your copy zing; you have to ruthlessly take an axe to a lot of it. Cut out unnecessary words – adjectives and adverbs are a good place to start; if they don’t serve a purpose they need to go.
Author/Copyright holder: The Atlantic. Copyright terms and licence: All rights reservedImg source
As a rule of thumb; you want to kill half the text you start with before it’s ready to go live.