UX texts have a clear function: they’re there to tell website and app users what they need to do next. And that requires someone to find the right words and put them in the right place. The end goal is a better experience for product users. User experience (or “UX”) is the buzzword of the moment – but despite this, around 45% of online companies do not make use of either UX writing or UX testing. And it’s no great mystery why – many businesses aren’t aware of the added value they offer, or how it can be quantified.
Confusing UX design and writing will put most customers off: 88% of users never return to a website after a bad experience with it – and to make matters worse, they may spread the word and put their friends and family off visiting it, too. This results in lower turnover for the business. Text is a crucial component of successful web design. But how can you measure its effect? And how do you justify investing in UX writing to your boss? Can you prove that good UX writing is worth it?
Yes, you can. If you have points at which users regularly cancel their transaction or leave the page, little tweaks to the microcopy on buttons, in forms or in notifications can often have a huge impact. Your analytics will show where your own problem areas lie. Below, we take a look at four key areas and see what happens when you invest the time (and money) in creating good UX texts.
Buttons: no point? No clicks
Buttons and calls to action (CTAs) are among the most effective tools in any user journey – but they can also be its weakest link. Their design has a direct impact on click rates and the overall success of a product. Numerous A/B tests have shown that addressing users directly on buttons can triple click-through rates, and simply choosing the right colors can boost conversion rates by an additional 30%. If you’re not convinced, give it a try on your own website – you’ll see what we mean.
Avoid generic wording like “Register” or “Find out more”. Commands like “Click here now!” aren’t particularly effective, either. Users should want to click and not just be told they have to. When it comes to creating a powerful CTA, we recommend the following formula:
Benefit + relevance = conversion
The benefit is what users gain if they click the button. This is proven to activate the brain’s reward center, which incentivizes particular behaviors. The relevance makes it clear what this means for the user. Using the first person here achieves the highest levels of engagement.
Here’s a little experiment: a website wants you to download a white paper with sales tips. Which button are you instinctively more drawn to?
Uses the benefit formula, focuses on action, direct
Product pages: more added value means more conversions
Informative, persuasive product texts are the foundation stone of a successful online shop. But it’s also worth highlighting the benefits of ordering – such as free shipping or returns, or the range of payment methods – in the product overview, too. It’s a simple yet effective technique. Adding this extra bit of text will improve your user experience – and, as a result, boost the number of sales transactions by up to 5%. Here’s an example of how it can work:
Puma.com, screenshot via Supertext
Confirmation notifications: make it personal
Addressing users directly is part of UX 101. You can personalize your notifications even further by showing that you understand your users’ situation and adapting your confirmation texts accordingly. Sending out a newsletter to a huge mailing list can be nerve-racking, for example. The mailing service Mailchimp knows this well, and has an appropriately soothing confirmation message: once they’ve pressed “Send”, the program encourages users to take a little break and acknowledges all the hard work they’ve put in:
Mailchimp.com – screenshot via Supertext
Positive affirmation is a great way of encouraging user behaviors: users feel validated, and like they’ve done something right. In the same vein, feedback like “Great choice” or “You’ve nabbed the best price” when users add a product to their shopping cart can also be effective. Praising customers is a powerful tool – and it rewards you too, by doubling or even tripling your conversion rate.
404 pages: users want support – and a sense of humor
We’ve all been there: clicking on an outdated link or entering the wrong web address is easily done. But while your IT team might be interested in the technical reasons why a page won’t load, your users generally aren’t. “HTTP 404 Error Code” isn’t very informative. To avoid frustration – and users immediately leaving the site – the error page should give them some guidance. A short text explaining what has happened and what they need to do to get to the page they want is ideal. Here’s a straightforward example:
Apple.com, screenshot via Supertext
A text that makes users chuckle rather than tear their hair out can also be a nice touch – as Tripadvisor demonstrates:
Tripadvisor.com, screenshot via Supertext
The tone you strike defines your entire user experience. According to a study by Adobe, 70% of survey participants said they preferred a communication style with a sense of humor. UX texts give a website or app personality; they build a positive rapport between users and the system. And happy users make repeat customers. When it comes to using humor, however, you need to be aware of cultural differences, and avoid too much repetition. Save humorous texts for places where users only end up occasionally – as is hopefully the case with the 404 page – not every two minutes, and check that the joke also works in other languages.
If our examples have failed to convince your management team that UX texts make a difference, then why not try some cold, hard calculations?
Say that 25,000 users visit your online store every month, of which 78% (19,500) fail to complete their transaction. If a user’s average shopping cart is worth USD 30, then that’s USD 585,000 in potential revenue you’re missing out on. If you made a one-off investment of USD 2,400 in reworking your UX texts and this led to a 1% increase in conversion rates, then you’d reduce your aborted transactions to 19,305, and your lost potential revenue to USD 579,150 – resulting in a USD 5,850 increase in turnover every month.
If that does the trick and you’re able to get your execs on board, then get in touch – we’ll help you put exactly the right words in exactly the right place.
Cover image via Unsplash