How many times have you and I gone through the manuals that come along with a product? We of course do it when we do not understand a bit about how to get started. But otherwise, we try to manage SOMEHOW.
And in the same context, tried reading the product copies of Apple products? They are so seductive that you are done with reading them even before you realized it. Same is the case with their manuals – Tiny-one-pager descriptions. It’s almost irresistible to turn to the next page.
Now how do they manage to do that? UX writing is a part of designing. Done well, the design value increases it’s value by several folds.
- Practice simplicity
Use simple language such that the average user too can understand. Your users are not always the “Shakespeares”. Try avoiding a technical language. The more specific you get with technical terms, more are the chances of users feeling not so connected with the product. Try to convey the information he requires and not what you want to convey.
It’s always better to say, “a car so comfortable that it feels like home” than saying “a car that has a recliner seat with leather seat covers and automatic drop-down sun shades and blah blah…” I am sure you and I will be convinced better with the former statement.
(open happiness – this is all that they had to say.)
2. Be clear with instructions
Don’t say “search” when you mean “filter.” Not “Save” when you mean “submit.” And so many other keywords that usually confuse the users. There are places where our daily language creeps into the writing. For example, “wanna cook without much effort?” Now this is completely okay if you intend to keep the language throughout the website, informal. But otherwise you should pay attention that such words do not creep into the writing language.
3. Taper instructions
Funnel down the volumes of instructions you give. The design should be so intuitive and powerful that after few verbose instructions, a collaboration of few words should be sufficient to explain the on-boarding or flow.
Instructions are like the extra wheels we attached to our bicycles. They are supposed to be detached once the child starts learning cycling.
4. Difference between UX writing and content writing
There is difference in the writing on your website and the article written about you in a popular magazine. UX writing is direct in ways that it explains the product and its feature, the on-boarding and the way ahead from the website. But, the article written about your product uses sophisticated and technical terms explaining the writer’s vision and utility of the product. That is exactly what you have to maintain.
5. Offer a good readability
Good content and a bad layout – really does not work. In short, make sure that the text is readable. Have a good contrast and a readable apt font.
Users scan more than reading, so make sure you make keywords bold, italics, UPPER CASE, or a mix of two if needed. Underline the part that has a navigation to another screen. Left align the text or justify them.
There are so many more ways to beautify the text. But these are the minimum rules to be followed.
6. Keep in mind what the user might ask
While giving an explanation to our parents we do keep in mind what all to over in our defense speech because we know what are the upcoming queries. Right? You have to do the same here. Understand what are the queries that your users might come up with. Try to cater to all of those queries in your product descriptions.
These were few writing tips that might help you to design great user experiences for the users. Leave your comments below or drop me a mail at monika[at]canvasflip.com