Almost every interaction you make, through a website or application, involves words. Words can help, words can hinder. They can ease a user on their journey or they can get in the way, causing frustration. Given their power, it’s no surprise to discover that companies like 37signals and MailChimp, to name but two, position words at the heart of their design process.
In this, the second part of The Craft of Words, The Standardistas explore the craft of words at a micro level, considering how microcopy can satisfy functional requirements by aiding and improving design interactions, enhancing interfaces for both function and delight, and helping users get things done.
Use the right words and we can ease a user along on their journey (we can even delight and entertain them). Use the wrong words, however, and we can stop a user dead in their tracks. Words are an often overlooked part of the design vocabulary, choose them wisely and your users will thank you.
Carefully crafted microcopy ensures our web sites or applications work better, improves conversion rates and enables users to fulfil tasks. In this section we show how microcopy can, and should, ease the user’s flow, helping them get things done.
Sadly things go wrong from time to time. When they do, carefully considered language – language which puts people first – is more important than ever. In this section we explore how language can be used to empathise with users, offering them a sense that we care about them and the predicaments they’re facing.
Once we get the functional basics down, we can start to focus on delighting our users. In this section we explore ‘delighters’, those small but important fragments of copy that add a little pleasure to your user’s day and bring a smile to their faces.
Words are a powerful, yet often overlooked part of the design process. In our final section, we introduce a number of practical suggestions that you can incorporate into your workflow to ensure that words become a core part of the design process. The result? Happiness, and better outcomes, all round.
“If you're a designer working at the coalface, helping to create and shape interfaces, this book is for you.”The Standardistas