4 tips for making your microcopy impactful

Microcopy refers to the short snippets of text found throughout digital products and interfaces. These small words can have an outsized impact on user experience, for better or worse. Here are some tips for crafting microcopy that leaves an impact.

Keep it concise and scannable

Users don’t have time to read lengthy paragraphs when browsing menus or buttons. Microcopy must be short, direct and scannable at a glance. Convey meaning with as few words as possible without sacrificing clarity. For a settings page, “Show Advanced” is better than “Display additional technical options for power users.”

Match the tone to your brand

Your microcopy style should align with your broader company voice. If your brand is playful and casual, so too should be your button labels and error messages. But a formal financial website calls for a more serious microcopy tone. Consistency builds brand recognition across interactions.

Emphasize the next steps over explanations

When users hit obstacles, they want clear direction on what to do next, not lengthy reasons why something went wrong. Error and confirmation messages should focus on suggesting the easiest path forward, not backtracking to analyze what happened. “Please try signing in again” vs. “An unknown error occurred during authentication.”

Test, refine and simplify

Microcopy is often written once and never looked at again. Regular user testing unveils wording issues that impede understanding or goals. If participants struggle with any microtext, simplify the language until the meaning is instantly clear. Iterative refinement leads to impactful microcopy that enhances the user experience.

In summary, while dwarfed by other interface elements, thoughtfully crafted microcopy packs a big punch in shaping how users perceive your overall product. Concise, brand-consistent wording that emphasizes the user’s next best step through your experience leaves the most impactful microcopy of all.

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