When you think of revamping UX for your website or app, what comes to mind? The design? Information architecture? User flows? While these are extremely important for your business, microcopy matters to the users, which you might be overlooking. Just to put it out there, we are not talking about UX writing when we say microcopy. Today we will learn to use microcopy to shape UX and make the interaction enjoyable between the user and the product.
Microcopy is little bits of text on products, guiding users to take any action, guiding them from one point to another, or maybe just a response to an action they took. Though microcopy doesn't take up much space on the product, it is key to driving user engagement. How the user interacts with your product or website all boils down to microcopy. A change as small as changing the button from 'Submit' to 'Sending' when the user clicks on 'Submit' can make a huge difference in the overall user experience.
With that being said, keep the following points in mind while writing a microcopy to shape UX for your product.
1. What is your brand tone?
If you have already been working on branding, you must have a defined tone, voice, personality for your brand - you already have a headstart here. Now, you just need to ensure that the microcopy that you write meets the brand's tone.
If you have yet to establish a brand identity, don't worry; it's not a very complex process. Think of your brand as an individual and jot down the personality traits you would like them to have. Now set your brand identity as closely to these traits as you can. You can play around with it; however, you want your audience to perceive you and mold your identity that way.
2. Keep it easy-breezy
Even if your brand tone is formal, try not to sound instructive. Users prefer friendly content that keeps them engaged. Microcopy shapes the UX in a major way, so you need to make the users feel relaxed. This is especially helpful when users encounter uneasy messages like a failure or an error. Writing an engaging microcopy here would be more helpful than just stating the error code. Keep the tone conversational rather than informative.
3. Don't beat around the bush
Microcopy is there to help your users use the product/website with ease. Your content should be in sync with that. Keeping it conversational helps, yes, but also keep it simple. Using complicated words or jargon might frustrate the user and lead to a drop-out. So keep the copy concise, clear, and readable.
4. Help your users
When you are writing your microcopy, your primary question in mind should be, 'How will this guide a user who lands on my website or uses my product?' If your copy is in line with this question, then you're good to go.
Anytime a user feels lost on the website or product, even with the microcopy, it accounts for a bad UX. It can be as easy as just letting your users know what they are missing while creating a combination password. This will speed up the process, rather than having them guess what they're doing wrong.
5. Test it out
You might have a good feeling about your microcopy, your team also feels it's a winner, but you will never know how the users see it unless you test. So come up with different iterations, test it on different sets of users, analyze their response, and act accordingly.
Without testing your copy, you can never be sure if it is being perceived the same you intended it to be.
At one glance, Microcopy might just seem like a sentence when compared to other elements of the website/product. However, it is just as important as any other design or product element, if not more. Almost every interaction that a user has with any product involved words, content. What is present on the screen drives a major part of the UX compared to the overall product. The smallest bits of words can have the largest impact.
Microcopy to shape UX is not judged by its length but its effectiveness. If you wish to learn more about microcopy, why it matters, how to write, some examples of excellent copies,
Rashika is the brain behind the content strategy on ProApp, both in terms of courses and marketing. She is an Engineer by education but a Content Writer, UX Writer, Marketer, and Mentor by profession. She has worked with tech giants like IBM and Accenture and has spent the last 3 years working with designers and training them. Currently - Focusing on Building an army of creators via ProApp.