How Does UX Writing Improve Usability In Mobile Apps

When designing a new app, you need to make sure to take a principled approach to mobile typography in app design. Text copy is a key component of how people will use the app. Poor UX text can frustrate users and turn them away. 

Text is something that every app contains. It makes the user onboarding easier or harder depending on the copy quality. Overall, text does the heavy lifting when it comes to helping users find value in apps and make people complete actions. 

If the text is so fundamental to user experience, why do we disregard its role in interface design? 

The probable answer is that text is so common that we’ve simply forgotten its major role in the products we create.

Features of good text designs 

Readability

Readability means that when the users look at their screen they do not find it troubling to read and analyze the text thoroughly. They don’t feel the need to re-read the text to understand it. 

To achieve this, you need to focus on such factors as the choice of words (get rid of complicated or stop words), font size, spacing, and correct use of punctuation to ensure the readability of the text. Font size is one of the most important elements. Sometimes designers are fond of experimenting with modern fonts and completely forget about the text readability. Users don’t want to waste time trying to figure out a word just because the font was not legible. 

If your brand’s tone of voice is serious, a funky, informal font can distort the message you want to communicate.

When designing for multiple devices, keep in mind that the smaller the screen, the bigger the font size should be for better readability.

Spacing

Spacing between the text is also referred to as leading in UX design. If the spacing is out, the readability of your text will be much worse. If your text is too close and has little to no space in between, it will be difficult for users to read. 

Line length

Line length refers to how many words and spaces the line will have. The greater the line length, the harder it will for the reader to grasp your idea. Go for a line length of 30-40 characters. 

How much text apps can display 

Different kinds of apps serve different purposes. That’s why the amount of text that apps can display varies greatly depending on their purposes. For example, finance apps like PayPal and Revolut use a lot of text from onboarding since they have to provide information about accounts, recent transactions, history of payments, etc. Apps focused on retail, such as Amazon, and services, such as Uber, also need to show more text since their goal is to provide immediate value to their audiences. 

On the other hand, social media apps such as Instagram and TikTok build their app interfaces in away that allows users to share videos or pictures rather than read text. Such apps don’t have complicated onboarding processes, and the text generally plays a secondary role in the user experience, such as for navigation or context. 

Tracking apps such as Fitbit or Clue tend to use graphics rather than text.

Intercom mentioned that text should approximately take up a third of the screen . There’s also a great piece of advice here: always make sure the text is valuable enough to pull its weight. If the text isn’t communicating something valuable, then it doesn’t need to be there.

Useful tips on UX writing

1. Integrate quality copy in UI as early as possible

When you are deep in the design process, it is really tempting not to bother about the text too much. Why complicate when you can just copy-paste the Lorem Ipsum text into the copy blocks? Well, it’s a terrible idea. 

The text is always a part of the design. What pleases your eye in the Lorem Ipsum form may not work with real text on the page or screen. You cannot visualize the whole user experience without the copy and the other layout elements. 

That’s why it’s highly recommended to integrate the copy as early on as possible. This way you can see how the text is combined with other UI elements such aslength, structure, and even message.

2. Build a text hierarchy 

Keep in mind that users don’t read every text element on the page. Instead, they scan it in search of something that can catch their attention. If they find something interesting and valuable enough, users decide to give the resource a second look by diving into detail. 

Although pictures are known as a more catchy design element, text plays a crucial part in decision-making. One of the reasons is that we consider text the main source of information.

Make sure to organize all text elements in a way that makes it easier for users to scan the page or screen and quickly understand the core message.

3. Do A/B tests for the copy of interactive elements

The copy of interactive elements such as buttons is one of the most crucial parts of UX. If you are not into UX design and writing much yet, you could be surprised how much effort should be devoted to these small layout elements. The reason is that interactive elements should direct users to other pages and persuade them to take action. 

Just as you would test design solutions such as button color or size, you can A/B test the copy of interactive elements. Testing will give you a clear understanding of how real users perceive the message and whether it is convincing enough for them. 

Conclusion

UX writing is a complicated and time-consuming task. If you do everything right, the copy will improve the user experience a lot. However, you shouldn’t expect your UX writing to work like a charm the first time. It requires several iterations, testing, and skills to discover more opportunities to improve copy.  

Just remember that a UX writer is a user advocate. That’s why it’s so important for such specialists to not only have hard skills such as writing but also soft skills like empathy and the ability to listen to user needs.