You Need to Improve Your User Experience! Do You Copy?
You Need to Improve Your User Experience! Do You Copy?
Businesses usually have a firm grasp on design and navigation, but what about the third tenet of UX? Find out how copy improve business UX.
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Your brand is much more than your corporate identity or product name. It’s the very front line of your customer experience. Beyond that iconic logo and catchy tagline, your brand derives its power from the sum of those customer experiences: excitement, inspiration, and motivation in the moment drives more sales. While advertising and marketing seek to influence perception, User Experience is for the mother’s milk of a dynamic brand.
We all know the customer journey doesn’t end with an advertisement or a successful sales pitch: that’s just the opening of the door. The visceral reactions take root and brand affinity blooms when a customer starts to use the product and drives the car off the lot or launches the new app on her phone, for example.
That feeling a customer has in engaging with the product outweighs all of the emotional appeal used to influence the buying decision at the outset. And that, in turn, is putting a heightened awareness and focus on the User Experience.
This focus is challenging conventional wisdom for product managers who’ve traditionally limited their roadmaps to adding advanced features and better functionality as the primary competitive differentiators. Today, enlightened product managers are prioritizing the User Experience as a powerful way to differentiate, and in certain cases even define, a product.
In fact, we’ve seen the emergence of a new category of product management tools aimed at improving the emotional connection with customers. Among these include design and wireframing apps, testing and verification with usability feedback tools, session recording and heat mapping programs, event-tracking and UX (User Experience) analytics, all of which are all helping managers build a richer User Experience into their products in order to better connect with increasingly more sophisticated and digitally-savvy customers.
Unfortunately, most of these applications only focus on two of the three critical product management pillars of User Experience – design and navigation. User Experience design typically consumes the most time and budget, followed by navigation to ensure ease-of-use and a positive, enjoyable experience. Both are important, but the industry largely overlooks that third strategic pillar – copy: the actual words that get everyone on the same page. In fact, the narrative composition that conveys the tone and emotion necessary to truly elevate the User Experience.
This is a critical oversight, given that managing copy delivers significant advantages.
Consistency = Efficiency
Collaboration is essential to effective product management. Text is the very foundation for this collaboration. Managing copy enables consistency and accuracy in communication across the entire team, from developers, coders, and engineers to marketing collaborators and up to the executive team making decisions. Consider version control and the challenges presented by various players working off different playbooks. No one needs those wasted cycles.
And, since the whole point of the User Experience is to be more customer-centric and foster stronger emotional connections, ensuring that the copy is correct for any customer-facing content is essential. It’s an ongoing process with regular updates and changes. Given today’s development cycles where products undergo continuous improvement well past initial release, the need for consistency and accuracy in text editing only increases.
Release Fast or Die
Today most product managers follow a rather clunky, inefficient method for handling text. Copy is typically created in a word processor, such as Google Docs, and then given to developers. They retype that text into the code strings. So in the era of digital transformation, we are essentially coding like it’s 1978. We should have left that method in the past with bell bottoms and the disco ball.
Not only is the process slow and laborious, but it makes text nearly impossible to manage. This is actually an even bigger issue for product development. As if updates and changes weren’t difficult enough, now the team has to go back and find where the text resides to extract it and make the changes. As a popular developer recently tweeted, “Strings are where the text goes to die.” Sadly, she was correct.
Globalization Requires Localization
In today’s global economy, growth and opportunity are found in new markets. This only exacerbates the need to manage text, as expansion can feel like a quantum leap for product managers trying to control copy for the User Experience To deliver a meaningful User Experience across all geographies requires transparent localization to make it personal within each culture and region. This goes beyond accurate translations: there must be equal focus on the brand tone and emotional impact you are trying to convey. Consider also that if you fail to make the right emotional connection, you’re actually inflicting damage to your brand.
Managing Copy – the Automated Approach
Continued research shows how emotions and the User Experience can greatly increase your sales while building deeper customer loyalty. It’s not just about connecting emotionally through advertising and marketing messages. It’s about a consistent brand tone that evokes the right emotional responses across all of your offerings at every level: from your homepage to a product manual to, believe it or not, a simple error message.
But managing copy is only getting more complex as data and code continue to grow exponentially. With dozens and sometimes even hundreds of authors through an organization creating content, copy is proliferating. And absent proper oversight, simple changes to copy such as spelling or grammar are difficult enough to track in every instance where the text appears. More complex changes like off-brand messaging or content with an inappropriate emotional tone are even more daunting; taken all together they beg for an automated management system.
Solving this copy management issue is indeed the next crucible in product management. And as companies expand and become more software-focused in how they run all aspects of their business they need consistency across all apps running on multiple platforms (including new versions of interfaces as they are introduced) and even across various languages. But success brings real business value creation: centralized management, measurement, and optimization of all content accelerates time to market and enhances the customer experience when executed properly. This all sounds like common sense, right? Automated solutions that can help you manage text the way you manage code. Surprisingly—no, shockingly—there are few solutions on the market. Yet we are already seeing how a commitment to User Experience is defining new leaders and helping them create separation from their competition. Businesses that adopt an automated approach are gaining a huge head start over their competitors by both getting a handle on managing copy as well as by defining and delivering a better User Experience that can greatly boost the bottom line.
May Habib is co-founder and CEO of Qordoba. The Qordoba platform enables enterprises to manage text like code.
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