Copywriting - Microcopy
Microcopy term includes texts that support usability e.g. form labels, instructional texts and wordings on buttons. More about copywriting in copywriting notes.
Avoid fun wording when user is attempting to take an action. Leave those for messages after actions is made.
# bad places for fun navigation labels dropdowns help text button # possible places for fun success messages error messages achievement messages # for example Chrome browsers says "Aw, Snap!" when site crashes.
Don't use company terminology. Especially in labels and navigation. Consider using words or natural language that a basic user knows or would use.
# bad label Target Job Title # good label What job do you want?
Form labels can have short help texts. Add explanations, help and error texts but use sparingly.
# additional help info Be sure to enter the billing address associated with your credit card. # good labels URL (can be changed later) Email (will not be used to marketing) Email (we hate spam as much as you do) Subscribe (low-volume newsletter)
Include labels for icons if there is room for them. Humans are fast finding images, but less good understanding them.
# bad    # good  Bookmark  Download  Share
Make button texts specific. Being specific will reduce confusion.
# bad dialog box Formatting will erase all data on this disk. To format, click OK. To quit click Cancel. [OK] [Cancel] # good dialog box Formatting will erase all data on this disk. [Format] [Cancel]
Page call-to-action should be compelling and specific. Visual style and wording of call-to-action button should make it clear that it is the action you would like the visitor to do.
# bad CTA button text Submit # good CTA button texts Request a Pack Subscribe Join Beta
Test whether to suggest commitment in your button wording. Premature commitment will increase the likelihood of completing the purchase but on the other hand, scares big chunk of people away. You must test which works best for your industry.
# usually bad Buy Now Purchase Now # usually best Add to Cart
Page title and description are important. Include physical location in both if page is for a local business. Keep in mind that page title is used in a lot more places than just in browser tabs e.g. Google search results.
Don't use negative tone in error messages. Error messages should explain what must be done to fix the error.
# bad, negative words in error messages Oops, Error, Failed, Problem, Prohibited # bad, blaming words in error messages Mistake, Invalid, Wrong # bad Email address is invalid. # good Email address must contain @.
Link text content should specify where it directs to.
# bad Photos of my trip are [here], [here] and [here]. # good Photos of my trip: [at the beach], [on a boat] and [going fishing].
Never refer to mechanic to use the device in links.
# bad Click to View Demo # good View Demo
Prefer having links at the end of sentences.
# bad I am on [Twitter]. Follow me to get latest updates. # good For the latest updates, follow me on Twitter [@YourName].
Prefer thanking over confirming.
# bad You just did something. # good Thank you for doing something.