However, it's important to recognize the potential risks and challenges that come with relying on microcopy.
In this article, we'll explore the different ways of onboarding microcopy, best practices for writing effective microcopy, and the potential risks and challenges of relying on microcopy.
Different Ways to Use Microcopy in Onboarding
Onboarding microcopy can be used in various ways during the onboarding process. Here are some examples:
1- Welcome Messages
Welcome messages are a common way to greet new users when they first sign up for a product or service.
They set the tone for the rest of the onboarding experience and can help users feel more comfortable with the product or service.
A well-crafted welcome message can be a powerful tool for engaging users and encouraging them to continue using the product or service.
Tutorials are a common way to introduce users to the features of a product or service.
Onboarding microcopy can be used to guide users through each step of the tutorial and ensure that they understand how to use each feature.
Tutorials are especially useful for complex products or services that may be easier to understand with guidance.
3- Error Messages
Error messages are an essential part of any user interface.
They inform users when something goes wrong and provide guidance on how to fix the problem. Well-written error messages can help users feel less frustrated and more confident in their ability to use the product or service.
Tooltips are small pop-up messages that appear when a user hovers over a specific element in the UI.
They provide additional information or context about the element and can help users better understand its purpose or function. Tooltips can be especially useful for new users who may not be familiar with all the elements in the UI.
5- Confirmation Messages
Confirmation messages appear after a user completes a task or action.
They provide feedback on the success of the action and can help users feel more confident in their ability to use the product or service.
6- Empty States
Empty states are screens that appear when a user has no data or content to display.
Microcopy can be used to guide users on how to add data or content to the empty state. Well-crafted microcopy can help users understand what they need to do next and encourage them to take action.
Best Practices for Writing Effective Microcopy
When it comes to onboarding users to a product or service, microcopy can make a significant impact on their overall experience.
Microcopy, such as instructional text or error messages, plays a vital role in guiding users through the onboarding process, setting expectations, and helping them achieve their desired outcomes.
However, writing effective onboarding microcopy is not always an easy task.
It requires careful consideration of the user's needs and expectations, as well as the overall tone and personality of the product or service.
To help guide designers and developers in creating effective microcopy, here are some best practices to keep in mind:
1- Keep it Concise
Microcopy should be short and to the point.
Users don't want to read long paragraphs of text, especially when they're trying to complete a task or action. Keep microcopy concise and focus on providing only the essential information.
2- Use Simple Language
Microcopy should be written in simple language that's easy to understand.
Avoid using technical jargon or complex terms that may confuse users. Use language that's conversational and friendly to create a more engaging experience.
3- Test and Iterate
Testing and iterating are essential for creating effective microcopy.
Test different variations of microcopy to see which ones work best and iterate based on user feedback. Don't be afraid to make changes and experiment with different approaches.
4- Use Active Voice
Onboarding microcopy should be written in active voice rather than passive voice.
Active voice is more engaging and makes it clear who is responsible for the action. Passive voice can make microcopy feel more impersonal and difficult to understand.
5- Provide Clear Instructions
Clear instructions are essential for helping users complete tasks or actions.
Microcopy should provide step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. Use action-oriented language to make it clear what users need to do next.
6- Use Humor and Personality
Humor and personality can make onboarding microcopy more engaging and memorable.
Use humor and personality to inject some fun and personality into the onboarding experience. However, be careful not to overdo it and make sure that the humor is appropriate for the context.
7- Be Consistent
Consistency is important for creating a cohesive and engaging onboarding experience.
Use consistent language and tone throughout the onboarding process to create a seamless experience. Make sure that all microcopy is consistent with the overall brand tone and messaging.
8- Provide Context
Context is essential for helping users understand the purpose or function of each element in the UI.
Microcopy should provide context that explains what each element does and how it can be used. Use examples or visual aids to help users better understand the context.
9- Use Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy is essential for guiding users through the onboarding process.
Use a visual hierarchy to highlight important information and guide users through each step of the process. Use color, font size, and spacing to create a clear visual hierarchy.
10- Avoid Negative Language
Negative language can make microcopy feel more intimidating or frustrating.
Avoid using negative language whenever possible and focus on providing positive guidance and feedback. Use language that's empowering and encouraging to create a more positive onboarding experience.
10 Examples of Good and Fun Microcopy
Onboarding microcopy can be more than just informative; it can also be a fun and memorable part of the user experience.
By using humor, personality, and creativity, designers and developers can create microcopy that not only guides users through the onboarding process but also engages and delights them.
Here are some examples of good and fun microcopies from various products and services:
When a user is added to a new channel, Slack displays a message that reads: "You've been added to #channel. Don't screw it up!"
This playful message adds a touch of humor while also setting expectations for the user's behavior in the channel.
When a user deletes a list in Trello, the confirmation message reads: "That list is gone forever. Just like that sweater, you thought you lost but then found under the couch."
This relatable message adds a bit of levity to the situation while also confirming the user's action.
Duolingo uses microcopy throughout its language learning app to provide encouragement and feedback to users.
For example, when a user successfully completes a lesson, the message reads:
"You're on fire!" This playful message celebrates the user's progress and motivates them to continue learning.
Mailchimp's error message for an invalid email address reads:
"You forgot the @ symbol! We need an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org."
This helpful message not only alerts the user to their mistake but also provides clear guidance on how to correct it.
When a user tries to tweet a message that exceeds the character limit, Twitter's error message reads:
"Hold up, cowboy. That's too many characters."
This lighthearted message acknowledges the user's mistake while also reminding them of the platform's character limit.
When a user deletes a file in Dropbox, the confirmation message reads:
"Are you sure you want to send [filename] to the trash? It won't be the first time [filename] has been rejected."
This playful message not only confirms the user's action but also adds a bit of humor to an otherwise mundane task.
When a user completes a task in Asana, the confirmation message says:
"Boom! You just got one step closer to taking over the world. Or at least your to-do list." This playful message celebrates the user's progress and encourages them to keep going.
Grammarly's error message for a misspelled word reads:
"Did you mean [correct spelling]? It looks like you may have made a mistake."
This helpful message not only alerts the user to their mistake but also provides a suggestion for the correct spelling.
After a user shares a design in Canva, the confirmation message reads:
"You just shared your awesomeness with the world. Nice one!" This playful message celebrates the user's accomplishment and encourages them to keep creating.
10- Google Maps
When a user enters a destination that's too far away in Google Maps, the error message reads:
"Are you sure you want to drive to [destination]? It's a bit of a hike." This playful message acknowledges the user's request while also reminding them of the distance.
To see more microcopy examples, don't forget to visit our page where we have compiled different user onboarding inspirations.
To Sum Up
Onboarding microcopy is a crucial part of the onboarding experience and can have a significant impact on the user's perception of a product or service. Effective microcopy not only guides users through the process but also adds personality and fun to the experience, making it more engaging and memorable.
To write effective onboarding microcopy, designers, and developers should follow best practices such as being clear and concise, using a conversational tone, and providing guidance and feedback.
By putting themselves in the user's shoes and anticipating their needs, they can create microcopy that not only informs but also delights.
Furthermore, the use of good and fun microcopy is a great way to engage users and make the experience more enjoyable.
Examples from various products and services show how microcopy can add humor, personality, and creativity to the onboarding process, making it more than just a series of instructions.
However, it's important to keep in mind the potential risks and challenges that come with relying too heavily on microcopy.
While it can enhance the user experience, it should not replace the good design and intuitive navigation. Onboarding microcopy should be used to complement the design, not to compensate for poor usability.