Improving site conversion: 5 ways to avoid creating a bad micro copy. Part 1

Today we want to share the first part of Bill Beard’s material on what exactly should not be done when writing microtexts in order to keep usability positive. In this article, we will first give examples of microcopy, and then we will analyze in detail 5 cases.

Imagine you were able to create a great user interface. You have great headlines, images, banners, Buy buttons. Have you thought about microcopy? Do you know what it is?

Microcopy - small phrases or even single words that add personality to your site, increase customer loyalty and encourage them to perform a targeted action.

Unfortunately, we rarely pay attention to this conversion tool. Meanwhile, a microcopy is found everywhere - for example, it can even be text on a label that hangs on the left in the figure below:

Example from the site . The shortcut is made in the service .

Moreover, a short instruction or even a phrase under the heading can also be referred to microcopy.

An example from the site .

To summarize, these are tiny phrases that ultimately improve or worsen usability.

Microcopy Examples:

A microcopy affects both the process before the purchase and after it. A site visitor is exposed to microcopy everywhere. If your microcopy doesn’t work at this key moment, you will lose customers - and perhaps you will no longer have a chance to return them.

We always remember this, and therefore we offer you five ways to make a microcopy so as to maintain positive usability, and not destroy it.

1. Look at the product through the eyes of the user

I bet that you are perfectly versed in the terminology associated with your product, are well guided on the site and remember all the points from the filling form by heart. But it is no secret that every company speaks its own language, which, if you are not careful, will slip into the site.

The right approach to the target audience in the text:

An example from

An example from the site , where the number of terms and names exceeds the possibilities for understanding by a simple user:

Do not let this happen. You should not naively believe that what is obvious to you will be as clear to the user.

Here is an easy way to check if your microcopy is too complex and confusing for the client.

Suppose that you started usability testing with the help of testers who perform actions according to specified scenarios and record video with voice guidance during testing. (For information on how to find testers on a remote site, read the article "6 accessible usability testing tools for websites . ”In the comments to this article we introduced another usability testing tool , which allows you to send a tester to the site to complete the task and record a video session of the answer to the question for later analysis).

during testing, you will surely see the user's actions and phrases, which he accompanies the study of your product. you can not only watch but also to listen to (and make relevant notes carefully), and notice how on what word the user speaks during testing time. Memorize phrases client describes their actions. After all, you yourself asked him to think out loud.


Listen carefully to the intonation with which users read a microcopy - did they pronounce some name or term with interrogative intonation?

You will probably be surprised how much useful information you can find out about a potential client if you pay attention to seemingly minor trifles. Any detail that the user tells about himself will be useful for creating a new microcopy.

2. Users are people too, speak human language with them

Among Internet users, brevity is now in trend, so many of us strive to reduce everything in the world - especially short inscriptions in the interface. Labels fit perfectly into the design, they organize the most important elements of the user interface, such as navigation and forms to fill out.

Unfortunately, short phrases also have their drawbacks: their understanding is individual for each and depends on the user's thinking, since these microcopies do not require explanation.

Not so long ago, we encountered this problem with the signature of one of the forms in the TheLadders service .

TheLadders is a service that helps you get to work. As in other similar systems, users need to provide the necessary information in order to find the right job.

It seemed to us that this form is very clear and simple. We have used the heading “job objectives” to select suitable criteria for almost 10 years, implying the requirements that the applicant makes for future work. This inscription helped us make the navigation as clear and comfortable as possible. However, during the last redesign, we noticed that users continued to “stumble” during their first visit to the page.

It turned out that people who did not work in the field of job search thought that the goals of work are the career achievements that they are going to achieve in the future, and not the details of the new job.

(Along the way, we also fell into the trap described in the first paragraph: you cannot use internal terminology in communication with users!)

So, we used a more colloquial option: “What kind of work do you want to find?” This had an instant effect - users no longer hesitated. Why? Because an ambiguous understanding of the information was excluded, this phrase cannot be taken out of context and understood otherwise.

Instead of using the familiar microcopy template for any form in the user interface, try compiling phrases in a simple and understandable language. The user interface should be a form of communication with the user, and not a set of clericalism through which your potential client should wade.

Remember that it is not so much the inscriptions in the navigation system that are important as the user's correct understanding of the purpose of the pages that represent these inscriptions.

A simple and understandable chain of steps for creating a resume on :


Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

Do you think microcopies on your site are correctly perceived by visitors?

  • 15.9% I am sure that yes 15
  • 14.8% Most likely not 14
  • 21.2% Hard to say 20
  • 47.8% I did not pay much attention to microcopies 45

Also popular now: