UX Writing Summarized

By Mattias Åkerberg

😡 ABC, next step and soooo much frustration 🎂 / UX Writing Summarized #13/2019



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UX Writing Summarized

November 26 · Issue #13 · View online

Every busy UX writer can save time reading this.

🎶… Happy birthday to …
… me. 🎶
One year ago, I sent out the very first issue of UX Writing Summarized. 😬
What a journey it has been! 🎉 Now, there are SIX times as many of you readers, and the best is still to come. Thank you for reading. 🙏🏻
Today, we are going to dive into
  • frustration,
  • empty states
  • and some bad news 👍👍👍
And always remember: your words can turn things around. Now let’s go!

Why empty states should never be neglected - UX Collective
Here’s the thing:
Empty state is the message you meet in apps and on websites when you haven’t added any favorites or products yet. It might be the first impression people get, and since people tend to leave most app parties early, it’s just sad that these messages are often overlooked. Never neglect them, says Jeremiah Lam, UX designer at AdZiggy in Singapore. Instead, take your chance to inject some personality, and give your reader the next step.
The take-aways:
  1. Give your empty state some love 💕 – it’s an easy UX win. The upside is a better experience for people using your app. 
  2. Tell people to do something, and add a call-to-action button like “Continue shopping” or “Explore Airbnb”. In the onboarding process you can show them how to use the product step by step. 🕺
  3. Why bother? Well, because the average app loses 77 percent of its daily active users within the first 3 days. 😮 First impressions matter, and will either make people continue or turn away. 
The quote:
“Design teams should invest as much time, love and attention to designing the words as they do anything else on the interface.”
(Ryan “Lorem ipsum is the devil” Cordell says that. And he’s right.) ✌️
The Four Cornerstones of Writing UX Microcopy | Adobe XD Ideas
Here’s the thing:
Here’s the bad news: a few words make all the difference.
Here’s the good news: a few words make all the difference.
Microcopy is everywhere, and since it is a vital part of UX, you better be aware of the words, says Sheena Lyonnais. With good microcopy you can make people trust you, stay and buy from you.
The take-aways:
  1. Microcopy is like poetry – and like a puzzle. There are constraints, so you’ve got to be creative within them. And you need to say something important in a clear and moving way. 
  2. Aim for action, brevity and context (as easy as ABC!) when you choose your words. Make it concise and barely noticeable. Help people figure out what to do (like in a search bar or form). And motivate them to take each step in a friendly, natural and not-too-pushy way. 
  3. People are busy, and they are visiting you for a reason, so help them do that they want to do. 🆗
The quote: 
“With poetry, you’ve got to communicate something that is important and moving and clear, but within the constraints of the form. That’s very much true for UX writing as well.”
Understanding user frustration - UX Collective
Here’s the thing: 
Do you make people frustrated? Most likely. Here’s what causes frustration, and what you can do to prevent or reduce it. Kalina Tyrkiel, content designer at Brainy Bees, brings you some stupendous facts: 1 out of 3 are likely to abandon a brand they love after just one bad experience (wow!), and 2 out of 3 will leave a website for good if they find it unreliable. Time to get to work! 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️
The take-aways:
  1. People get frustrated when things go wrong. It stops them from doing what they want. That’s why errors on your website are a burning issue that needs to be solved right away. 
  2. What also causes frustration is too many choices, vaguely labeled actions and features, and sloooooow looooaading pages (3 seconds is too much for 50 percent of your visitors).
  3. A combination of qualitative and quantitative analytics will tell you why people leave your website. Combine Google Analytics with tools like LiveSession to see what is not going right. You are most likely to see a lot of “error clicks” and even “rage clicks” in the recordings. 
The quote: 
“If people are faced with too many decisions, they’re quite likely to choose the easy way — decision avoidance. For you, it means they will just leave the website.” 🤷‍♂️
How to import a website to Figma
This is probably going to sound a bit 🧀+y, but I do speak from the ❤️: 
Figma is the best tool around for designers and writers who enjoy working together, in a shared document, in real time. Over the past few years, I’ve being involved in projects where we’ve all used Figma, and it has worked like a charm. 👏👏
This autumn, I’ve introduced it to every class I’ve met teaching UX writing at Berghs School of Communication and at digital agencies. Absolutely everyone has been able to use it right away; it’s that easy. And it’s free. 
The other week I found this great plugin, which make it super-easy to import a live website. It’s called HTML to Figma, and even has a Chrome extension. What a joy! 
The UX writing talk – now in English
I’m either stupid or crazy. When Måns Brengesjö at Papaya asked me if I could do the UX writing talk for 40 international students at Jönköping University, I said yes. 🤦‍♂️
I’m probably plain stupid, as I speak and write English FAR from well. I’m choosing to do it anyway … so I think that makes me crazy too. 
Because under the surface, this scares the shit out of me. 🦆I’m paddling like hell. Above the surface, I’m trying to be as calm as a duck.
If you’re ever in a similar situation: embrace it and be a calm and crazy duck. Tomorrow is the big day. Wish me luck. 😬
Wanna write UX in Swedish? Get in line.
Last week I emailed you about the upcoming and first UX writing program in Swedish. Less than one day later, all 12 spots were filled. 😮
So I decided to release an identical program starting in April. Now, the April spots are filled up as well (and the waiting list is getting longer every day).
I’m curious about you
If this is the first newsletter you’ve received from me, you’re most welcome.
I’m Mattias 🙃, a father of two, 37 years young, living with my family outside Gothenburg, Sweden. I’m a fan of California wines, movies by Roy Andersson and Ruben Östlund, and music from Tomas Andersson Wij. 🍷
How about you? Where do you live? What do you enjoy? How come UX writing interests you? Send me an email – long or short – to mattias@pleasecopyme.se and we’ll be less strangers. 
Hi from Mattias (the Swedish UX writer) 🇸🇪
The next issue will be out on January 28, 2020. Happy New Year! 🥂
Can’t get enough? You can always read all issues of UX Writing Summarized.
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