Bad Copy Kills – Read It Out Loud by Cindy Alvarez
To industry insiders, user experience (UX) and interface (UI) aren't just pretty graphics, nifty visuals, hot colors, and eye movement. The quality of the text presented (the copy) can have great impact on people's behavior as well. Professional copywriters produce amazing engaging personable copy. Unfortunately, not every young company has one on their team or can afford to retain one making the task a typical hit-or-miss gamble.
Cindy Alvarez, the head of product management and customer development a KISSmetrics, suggests an easy way to spot bad copy: read it out loud. She says she does it for every piece of communication she sends to customers and for nearly every interface element in their applications. Cindy's tip might not sound revolutionary or new. Some might have heard about the technique in high school but the amounts of bad copy we encounter suggest few are really using it.
Cindy explains four common copy mistakes that can be weeded out with this quality assurance method: lack of flow, embarrassing buzzwords, lack of context, and being boring. Unfortunately, style issues like jargon might not be uncovered this way.
What is your secret sauce for writing a great copy?