Welcome to the 115th edition of Design Brief – our weekly selection of news and tips from the design world.
This article is an excerpt from Scott Kubie’s, a designer and digital strategist at Brain Traffic, "A Book Apart". Kubie argues that everything left unwritten is a mystery box of incomplete design and that choosing the words which appear in an interface forces us to name components, articulate choices, and explain things to the user. Words are as much a part of design as the layout, graphics, and animations. They are a powerful tool you don’t have to invent, just use it. Read more
The process of writing microcopy for apps is pretty similar to writing for websites. The ecosystem of an app, however, is much more closed off. This leaves us with both constraints and technical issues that we don’t normally encounter on websites. By writing clear and concise microcopy, we make the brand’s personality shine through, while still making sure their product is easy to use. Read more
Most product teams can quickly find common ground and create basic definitions to explain which quality words matter most. But from there, it can be hard to be specific about what tangible attributes their products should actually demonstrate. And the difficulty increases when considering how quality evolves over time. If you want better products from your teams, define what better means and what needs to be better. The article presents a ritual that will help your team work more effectively. Read more
Founder of Real Big Words Melissa Mapes makes a point that, despite popular dogma, people do read on the Internet. And indeed the role of a UX writer is often to help users read as little as possible. But every interaction with a user is an opportunity. Thus, UX writing matters. Bad copy creates confusion and friction, while great microcopy makes it delightful and easy to complete a desired action. Users are more likely to trust a product that feels like there is a human on the other side. How to do it right? Read more
An article is based on the book Better Web Typography for a Better Web by Matej Latin, which helps the reader design and build an example website with awesome typography. You can learn from it that rhythm in typography is just like rhythm in music. A text can either flow like a masterpiece symphony or it can be a disjointed flimsy song. Just like in music, where order is more pleasurable to our ears than chaos, so is a well-designed text. But, unlike in music, there are two types of rhythm in typography: horizontal and vertical. Read more
Competitive differentiation goes beyond features and pricing. If you hope to build a defensible brand that customers and employees love, you must also understand how your competition positions itself so you can stand for something unique. That’s what differentiation is all about. A step-by-step guide for startups, with tools & examples, can be found here. Read more