In UX design, the tiniest elements on your webpage can make or break your site. The overall design, images, color schemes, and typography are all important to the user interface. These elements must support your brand voice.
Written content is no exception. Would you publish a blog on your site that had nothing to do with your brand? Would you use words in a heading that don’t convey your company’s personality?
Your voice is unique — the copy on your website should reflect that!
Microcopy is small bits of written content that don’t occupy a lot of space on the webpage but instead guide the user through the interface. It’s an underutilized tool in UX, and a good copywriter (like the ones here at CreateApe ?) can use it to set a page’s tone, encourage users through conversion, and build a fully realized brand experience.
Microcopy includes everything from:
- Call-to-action buttons
- Image captions
- Placeholder text
- Billing/shipping text
- Navigation tabs
- Error messages
- Loading screens
- Search bars
- Cookie messages
Good microcopy should confidently guide users, gain their trust, and reinforce brand identity. It should also help the user understand website functions and complete tasks successfully.
The smallest microcopy can carry the user through your site and back again, or it could drive them away entirely. So, pay big attention to the small words!
CreateApe’s Guide to Microcopy
In our UX process, creating copy is just as important as the design and user flows. We know how to make everything on the site on-brand and user-friendly, including the words that drive conversion. Follow these steps when writing and evaluating microcopy:
Evaluation - When evaluating a website, we take every single interfacing element into consideration. The first step to creating a user-friendly design is discovering pain points that slow down or stop conversion. Ask yourself these questions when evaluating microcopy:
- Is it visible?
- Is the wording ambiguous/misleading?
- Does it guide the user to where they want to go?
- Does it communicate our voice?
- Is the messaging clear and compact?
- Does the messaging inspire trust from our users?
User Empathy- Anticipate your users’ needs to keep them coming back to your website. At CreateApe, we heavily rely on data and analytics, but it’s not all a boring numbers game.
We use this information to create fictional user personas and give insight into the types of users visiting your page. User personas help us visualize and empathize with the user, creating an experience designed with a specific person in mind. A UXperience, if you will.
Ask yourself these questions to help empathize with your users:
- What does the user do on the website?
- Why are they doing it?
- How do they feel when doing it?
- How long does it take them to complete tasks?
- What, if anything, drives them away from completing tasks?
- What words and phrases speak to them?
Voice/Tone - Once you get a big picture of your audience, figure out how to use your voice to guide them through your website. Write microcopy that supports your voice so the user knows they’re interacting with your brand in the conversion process.
On-brand microcopy lends uniqueness and authenticity to the overall UXperience. Consider this when applying your voice to microcopy:
- Does the user know they’re communicating with us by reading the microcopy?
- Does the copy reflect our attitude?
- Is it conversational/does it engage the user?
- Does it help the user understand how the site functions?
- Does the tone of the messaging reflect the actions?
Testing - Iteration is key in ensuring your digital product is the best it can be. Test your microcopy to see if users can navigate your site, log in, checkout, and complete the onboarding process. Consider this when testing your microcopy:
- Did it direct the users where they wanted to go?
- Did it help them easily complete tasks?
- Did it drive them away at any point?
- Did it distract them from completing a task?
- Did it confuse/mislead them?
Revisit and revise your microcopy until you’re happy with it!
So, Why Is All This Important?
By personalizing your website’s microcopy, you can subtly reinforce your brand identity and build a more personal connection with your user. When used right, it drives an effortless UXperience and boosts conversion. Keep it clear, conversational, on-brand, and aware of the user’s needs.