The dark art of ‘designing’ words

Sourced from

Numerous studies have shown how people don’t read on the web. The same goes for apps, games, or any other screens you interact with. Most people just scan around, picking up words here and there.

Are people lazy? Careless? Or do they just hate to read? Whatever theory you go with, the results are always the same. People don’t read most of your interface—no matter how great your words are.

Because of that, you shouldn’t just write words and paste them into your design. As you write your words, you might find that your design needs to change. If you can’t explain an action in a few words, it’s a sign that your design is probably too complex.

To put it another way: You shouldn’t design with lorem ipsum. You should design with words. Check out these 7 tips for designing with words from John Saito on I think # 7 has the best payback.

In a similar vein, narrative UX is a term talking about the same context; particularly product design.  You see, every product tells a story. A good app is, in a sense, a choose-your-own-adventure tale: through a series of choices, the user brings to life a story that reflects their particular way of moving through the product.

When we design products, it’s our responsibility to set up a framework that guides them through that story.

Design, in other words, is narrative

Yet the actual writing that a person sees when using an app is rarely the result of careful consideration. For all the lip service paid to storytelling in the tech industry, we pay little or no attention to the language that goes into product design. So what happens when we finally realise that reinventing ourselves as storytellers necessitates bringing writers into the design process?

Jessica Collier used to work on the product design team at Evernote, now she’s plying her trade with All Turtles. But she doesn’t do code or design assets or create mocks. Jessica is there to think about words, all day long, and to hone the story that we tell in our products.

“My job,” she says, “is to be a walking lexicon of every potential twist and turn in a user’s Evernote experience. I think of my role — writing the words that create our product’s story — as narrative UX.”

Read Jessica’s full take on what narrative UX is at Medium …

View at