Combining Content Writing And Design For Ultimate Usability
User experience is more than placing right elements at the right places. There are too many aspects that are involved to make your customers’ journey more pleasant. Texts are just one of those things.
They help how they persuade your visitors to take actions that you expect from them. They also serve as guides and information sources, especially if your site or app is content rich.
You will notice a huge difference in conversation when you put a proper text at a proper button comparing to button that has text that tells nothing to a user. But of course, first, you need to understand how UX and texts work together and what aspects you should consider improving, considering the performance and efficiency of your site or product.
UX – is that design?
To some extent it is. UX is one of the foundations of a great design. However, it’s a little bit different and a little bit more complicated than just pictures.
When we talk about design, the first thing that comes to our minds is the colors and images. This is the visual aspect of your website, and it’s really important. But this is not UX, this is UI – user interface. In simple words, this is how the users see your site. UX, or user interface, is about how they act when they see your site.
User experience is also concentrated on such things as:
- Making sure the usage of a website or application is easy and intuitive
- The website or application efficiently perform the tasks
- How the user and site or application interact
- How the user behaves and what should be changed in the site or app to satisfy the behavior of users
What does UX include?
Speaking about the user interface, we should take into consideration the following aspects:
- Human factor
- System peculiarities (website, app, etc)
- System performance
All these things are interconnected and all of them have a huge effect on the behavior of the customer. By ignoring some of them, the results may be rather unexpected.
For example, you have decided to create a blog. You have defined a structure for it according to the basic UX principles. You have a clear navigation, the posts are tagged, the images are optimized. However, if you ignore marketing aspect, you won’t be able to collect leads, as you did not include the lead capture form to the blog.
Combination of texts and design for a better UX
You will see the examples of this combination everywhere: on websites, applications, systems. For example, when you want to create a new file on Google Drive, you click New button. If nothing was written there, you would hardly guess what to do with that button.
Colors and texts
If you regularly check your website or app statistics, you definitely notice that colors do affect the behavior of your users. One of the most common examples is red and green colors. You will definitely be confused if the button colored with red will say something like ‘Yes’ or another permission, while the button colored with green will tell you ‘No’ or ‘Cancel’. These are a traditional user experience, and you cannot change it. All users will be confused if you interchange the meaning of a red and green button.
Of course, when it comes to implementation of colors on the website or application, you should not only connect it with the traditional expectations of readers but also remember that a huge variety of them will definitely make them ask more questions than just to act.
If you have no experience in that, you may always follow the recommendations of professionals on what color scheme to choose and how those colors will affect website performance.
Fonts. Do they really matter?
When it comes to content and UX, fonts are not the most important thing that a person will notice. Some of the non-designers at least think so. However, the reality is a little bit more complicated.
There are two basic types of fonts that you are to know:
How do they differ? Serif fonts have less space between letters, so it’s more difficult to read such texts. Sans-serif is more pleasant looking and much easier to read, especially online. Therefore, a good UX presupposes that all texts are written in sans-serif fonts, and the user enjoys the reading.
Spacings as the key to better user experience
No one will read your texts if it’s too painful to even watch on them. If you ignore spacing, your texts will always have zero conversion. None of the readers will even scroll the page to the end!
Another thing that you need to remember is that spacings should be everywhere: between the lines, between the headers and lines of the text, and between pictures as well.
No more links
Links may be too annoying, especially if their number if overwhelming. If you add dozens of links to one single article, none of the readers will click them. Moreover, the readers are more likely to quit the page than to continue reading.
If you want to make use of links, never add more than 10 to 2,500-word text. Should we tell that the links must be related to the article and provide readers with the information that might be interesting to them?
Also, make sure that the readers understand that this is a link, not some style of the text. A good practice is to attribute links with some colors. Never attribute link with bold or italics! Your users will never understand that this is a link.
Fewer words in menu
Clear menu or navigation is one of the basic things that users pay their attention to. UX and texts should be combined here in such a way, to explain users where they will get if they click this menu item. The most difficult thing here is to make the texts as short as possible. The menu should be clear, informative, and simple.
Text and where to place it on the website
This is perhaps one of the biggest problems that all bloggers face. Where to place the text in such a way, a user can easily scan it, and at the same time, how to promote your other posts and social networks? UX gives answers to all these questions.
In fact, there is one rule for everything that we have mentioned before. Minimalism is really the king, and it always helps to get better results.
What to know about texts and UX (buttons, CTA, naming)
We have already discussed some of the aspects of using texts for buttons, but there are some things that should be explained in detail.
There are two basic approaches to buttons. Some say that texts should be clear and informative, while others believe that they must be more ‘humanized’. In fact, there is no one right answer to this question. If you want to know what will work better for your site or app, you should try different variants.
For example, the first screen of Dropbox main page has two buttons for those who still are not registered. To sign up for free after providing basic registration information or to sign up for free with Google. Every user will understand what he needs to do here.
Here, the buttons do not have only one or two words, and this is the right decision. When clicking a button, the user needs to know what he will get later. With the only one button Free sign up, it would be impossible to understand whether the user gets registered with the Google or using his personal info.
How to use texts for call to actions
Call to actions have always been one of the cornerstones for a successful customer journey. When on your site or app, a user needs to know what to click to get the desired results. For example, he wants to learn more about the product. He will definitely look for Learn more or Read more CTA.
If you think that these call to actions are too boring, just check Apple website.
On this example, you see two calls to actions. Do you understand what will happen when you click on them? It is obvious, that if you click Learn more, you will be redirected to the page that tells about AirPods. But if you click Shop, you expect to get redirected to the online store.
If you are interested in how to use CTA on your site, emails, or apps, you should check the best CTA practices that help to increase conversion and turn visitors into customers.
How to use naming to name features and actions
Many product developers make a huge mistake when creating UX for their apps or sites. The name features and actions just like they have got used to during the process of development. However, a user may not understand this slang. Therefore, it will be better to stick to some commonly accepted lingo, especially when it comes to navigation and user experience. The ‘choose’ button should never be called ‘find something interesting for you’, as the user may be frustrated with such an option.
Style guides (iOS, Windows, Android)
Did you know that iOS and Windows are different not only in the functions but also in the language that is used? In Windows, we ‘close’, but in iOS, we ‘quit’. This is the example that you should always remember if you work with UX for apps. The language is different, and you need to stick to style guides of a certain platform that the app will operate. Fortunately, you should not check all these details on your own, as there are many style guides that explain all differences and give recommendations how to write interface texts for various platforms.
Does adaptiveness of the texts depend on design?
One more important thing is that people no longer read from the laptops only. They use various devices, so every developer needs to remember that website or app should be adaptive. However, the same is with the text.
So what’s the problem? The matter is that many writers write long sentences and paragraphs. This is absolutely ok when we speak about texts that are read from the big screen, but it is the worst user experience for those who read from the gadgets.
While using a phone, people also first scan the text. Therefore, you need to make sure that it will be easy enough to do that with your text.
It’s better to break it into short paragraphs, 2-3 sentences in each. Of course, the logic of structure may suffer a little bit, but the mobile conversation will increase by several times!
So why UX and texts are so important?
A user of your website or app should be the one who will determine how to properly create a structure and how to use texts. Never rely on your preferences only! Today, there are various websites that will help you understand the problems and fix them. One of them is five-second test. It works in the following way. A user gets a site and only 5 seconds to understand what it’s about. In your turn, you get the results and see what makes a user uncertain about your site.
If UX and texts work together, the results are fantastic. Users do not spend time on your website trying to understand what’s going on and where they need to click to find what they need. Their journey becomes less complicated. If they want to make a purchase, they look for Shop button or menu item. If they are interested in the content that you publish, they are looking for a Blog section.
By following the recommendations presented in this article, you can improve your website or app performance up to several times. Just make sure that you don’t forget to analyze the behavior of your visitors and always try to find weak points in your UX.
About the author:
Sophia Clark graduated from the University in the City of New York with B.A. in Journalism, 2011. She is a creative writer who loves to share her thoughts with readers, now she writes for Eliteessaywriters. In her free time, she enjoys writing fiction as well as reading it. Connect with her on Twitter and Google +.