When starting work with a new digital product, I often find out that brand voice is not consistent, microcopy is robotic or unclear, and as a result user experience is broken. There is no other way to change this than to conduct an audit and gradually make edits. Here is how I tackle this problem.
Understand the scope of the problem
Create a list of all website pages and/or app screens. You can export the list of website pages using online tools, for example, XML-Sitemaps (500 pages for free).
It is best to follow the current user flows to see all the app screens. Ask designers if they have the user flows nicely designed and stored in a separate document.
Once you get them, create a Spreadsheet with the list of the pages like this:
Later on, you can mark the links with red, yellow and green to prioritize the tasks.
Red: Fix asap
Understand what should be rewritten asap. These include:
- Texts with grammar mistakes.
2. Technical language users can not understand and leave the page confused.
Credits to Biananat
Yellow: Fix gradually
- Not consistent call to actions. For example, you may use “Add to bag”, “Add to bag+”, “Add to cart”. It’s a good practice to have CTA button guidelines for different actions stored in a separate document.
Sometimes the difference between the buttons is more obvious, e.g. when we see “Get started”, “Free sign up”, “Get started for free” on the same page. Using the same wording for the same action we will reduce the user’s cognitive load.
2. Low converting sign up forms. Quite often sign up process consists of several steps and takes a few minutes. If the process is too long and daunting, the chances that users will drop off are high. Improving sign up flow may include adding social proof, reminders why a user wanted to sign up.
HubSpot added a nice reminder “100% free” as an incentive, Semrush used testimonials to keep people engaged while signing up.
The best part of this improvement that you can actually track the results and see if your changes had an impact on the conversion rates.
Sign up forms (HubSpot and Semrush)
3. Too long descriptions and repetitions. You can tell that by looking at the amount of time people spend on the screen and by conducting user testing.
Description of the product on the landing page
This message on the second screen of the “About Us” page is not possible to scan quickly, it should be shortened.
Check the pages for effective use of language, and also shorten the microcopy where possible.
Credits to Tubik Studio
Nice to fix
The next important thing is vision and mission adherence.
Product proposition should sound pretty much the same everywhere if we want to create a strong brand with a powerful message.
Here are a few documents that you might find handy.
- Current guidelines
Including everything like a brand’s tone if available, brand guidelines, illustration guidelines. What for? While conducting an audit, you can also stumble upon old illustrations in different styles. Make notes and pass them to the graphic design team.
2. Mission statement
Based on the mission of the company, you can create a list of pages where content does not reinforce the brand and should be rewritten.
3. Information about your target audience
User persona documents and notes collected by marketers and designers.
Let’s take a look at 99designs to check their content.
Searching for 99designs on Google, you will see this description speaking about graphic design freelance platform.
Great! Let’s click and dig deeper.
Hero screen is mentioning the fast evolution of online businesses, which is strange…Why should I take my business online today if I need, let’s say, an illustration for a book or a logo for a cafe? How digital strategy and graphic design are connected?
Let’s see Facebook page to know the truth about 99designs.
The Facebook intro is all about easy collaboration between designers and clients, inspiration and creation of the designs people love.
99designs website and Facebook profile
It feels like we are talking to different people using the same name.
A clear powerful message across all the channels and products should be easy to remember. Consistent user experience also requires consistent messaging, consistent brand’s tone and consistent design.
Brand’s tone is something that can make it stand out and win the hearts.
How could we remember a brand that looks different every day, some days is fun and some days official, speaking about different values instead of following the same?
Let’s take a look at Notion, an advanced note-taking app, speaking about all-in-one workspace everywhere on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google and on the website:
Notion website, Facebook and Twitter profiles
The chances that you will remember this brand are much higher as they are using the same black and white design, the same wording.
Besides fixing mistakes and shortening the content where possible to save users’ time, companies should think about their brand identities.
We love the products we can easily distinguish. Keeping the same tone through the company’s marketing materials, ads, inside the product creates a unified brand experience. Inconsistent brands are hard to distinguish and less trustworthy.
You may find this article on designing unique icons and illustrations useful as well:
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