Little words, big ideas: How to write microcopy that works


I was completely panicked. The light on my dash came on and I had absolutely no idea what it meant. The icon was indecipherable. If only it had been accompanied by a tiny bit of microcopy. Two words -- “flat tire” -- would have saved me half a heart attack. But that was before I’d ever heard of “microcopy”.

Back then I was still a neurobiologist ready for something new. When a hi tech company needed a writer with a biology background, I pounced. I discovered “UX writing” on the job and I’ve been a UX writer for complex products ever since.

Microcopy is the core of UX writing and it’s everywhere. Microcopy is all of the small bits of text that guide users through their journey, whether on a web app, mobile app, or even in text messages and beyond. It includes buttons, menus, push notifications, navigation elements, link text… the list goes on and on. It’s powerful. (Did you hear about the $300 million-button? I’ll tell you about it in this talk!) And often, technical writers, product managers, and even developers end up writing it.

In this talk I’ll share some theory, a lot of tips for everyday UX writing no matter your role, and lots of real life examples and data. You’ll walk away with: - Principles that you can apply in your work - Tools that will improve your process and output - Practical guidelines to use for reference - Resources to learn more - A burning desire to get writing!

  • Conference: Write the Docs Australia
  • Year: 2020

About the speaker

Yael Ben-David