The art of copywriting is often overlooked in the path to launching a digital experience. Here are some easy and painless ways to improve your copywriting skills as a web designer.
1. Use Plain Language
Wherever you work as a designer–be it in-house, at an agency, or freelance–there is a tendency to pick up the terminology used by your peers and assume that your users are also familiar and comfortable with them. Avoid the overused technical jargon or marketing terms that your coworkers may use constantly and choose to speak using simple terms and common expressions that are understandable by the vast majority.
- Do say: Uploading file...
- Don’t say: Buffering...
2. Reduce Clutter
One way to quickly improve your copywriting is to go through a proofreader and find ways to reduce clutter. Find a way to use fewer words with equal clarity.
- Do say: Create account
- Don’t say: Click to create a new account
- Do say: ... because...
- Don’t say: ...due to the fact that...
3. Be Compelling
In Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini examines the way people can be influenced. Some of the principles are outlined below:
- Reciprocity: People generally feel obliged to return favors offered to them.
- Scarcity: People tend to want things as they become less available.
- Authority: People often act in an automated fashion to commands from authority.
- Consistency: People have a general desire to appear consistent in their behavior. People generally also value consistency in others.
- Social Proof: People generally look to other people similar to themselves when making decisions.
- Liking: People are more likely to agree to offers from people whom they like.
Use copywriting to appeal to how people form decisions in moments of ambiguity. Lean toward using short phrases with words that stand out rather than long, bland content.
- Do say: Discover our top rated customer favorites with rave reviews.
- Don’t say: Discover our products [x], [y] and [z].
4. Be Specific
If there is a specific detail that would help clarify what you are trying to communicate to your user, include it! While being concise is important, clarity must your top priority. You should include as many words that are necessary to help the user understand what they need to do next.
- Do say: An email address must contain a single @
- Don’t say: Error! Form submission failed!
Words matter. I hope the tips above help you make sure every word counts and improve your copywriting. By having awesome copywriting, you’ll create content that is understandable and memorable for the right reasons.