Microcopy is defined as the words used in digital products and services like interfaces, buttons, labels, sites, and apps. It is often used to provide clarity, reinforce identity, and drive action. Microcopy has the power to either make or break a user experience, so it’s important to know what to keep in mind when crafting it.
So, how do you write a microcopy that’s both effective and impactful? As with all things related to copywriting, there are no hard and fast rules – but here are some best practices and guidelines you can use as you write your microcopy.
16 Best Guidelines for Writing Microcopy
1. Keep it Simple
Try to keep your microcopy as short and simple as possible, as these can confuse your users. Remember that, the simpler the copy, the more customers will understand it.
2. Be Direct
Focus on your message’s core explanation and avoid adding unnecessary words or phrases. Time is precious and users don’t have time to read unnecessary content.
3. Write with Empathy
Take the time to understand who you’re writing for and make sure your copy speaks to their needs and wants.
4. Be Specific
Do your best to avoid vague words like “things” or “stuff” when asking for information. Being specific can be a good shorthand for helping users understand what is expected from them.
5. Break It Up
Don’t be afraid to break up your copy and create headings and subtitles that make it easier for users to consume quickly.
6. Use Appropriate Tone
Make sure your microcopy conveys the right tone. Use a professional and friendly voice to create a connection with your customers.
7. Craft a Unique Voice
Giving your microcopy a unique and memorable voice can help users identify your product or service quickly. Crafting humorous microcopy can also be a great way to engage users.
8. Tell a Story
You don’t have a lot of words to work with – so make sure everyone counts. Paint a picture and tell a story with your copy.
9. Use Action Words
Action words like “download,” “click,” and “submit” are great for directing users toward a specific course of action.
10. Use White Space Intentionally
White space can help create a sense of focus and make the microcopy easier to read.
11. Consider Context
When writing a microcopy, consider the context in which it will be used. Familiarize yourself with existing words, terms, and phrases within a product or service, and be sure to stay consistent with your writing.
12. Avoid Jargon
Remember that your audience may not have the same technical knowledge or understanding as you. To ensure users can understand your copy, avoid using terms or slang specific to the industry.
13. Avoid Repetition
Repeated words and phrases can be seen as spam. Write a fresh copy for every page and control the word count for each page.
14. Always Proofread
After writing your microcopy, always proofread it and double-check for any typos or misspellings. A mistake can turn off potential customers, so take care to ensure your microcopy is flawless.
15. Make It Visually Appealing
Since your microcopy comes with the page design, it’s important to be mindful of how the copy appears on the page and create a visually appealing experience.
16. Think Mobile
It’s likely that people will be viewing your microcopy on a mobile device. Make your copy optimized for mobile reading and adjust your layout accordingly.
Check out Faqprime to learn more about UX microcopy and other topics related to user experience.