The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

John Saito writes for a living, but his is a unique application. The format he primarily writes for is user interfaces. It’s a format that necessitates a certain type of writing. As he puts it:

You see, I mostly write interface text for apps and websites. It’s a style of writing where brevity beats brilliance, and every character counts. Writing interface text is actually a lot like design—designing words for people who hate to read.

He then goes on to give some great tips for how to write copy for interfaces. However, these tips can be applied to a lot of different formats. Onboarding emails and help documentation come to mind.

In a similar vein, check out How to Design Better Websites by Writing Them First. What a great title there. You can take this title and change it to How to (Do Everything) Better by Writing First and insert your activity of choice. I know I’ve been talking a lot about writing, sketching, and working with your hands of late. But I’ll just keep preaching that message, cuz it works, yo!

It most certainly applies to websites. Under a section titled “Form follows function. Style follows everything.”, Stefan Rössler states:

When you want to write your website you need to be sure about its function. What’s the purpose of your site? Figure that out and you’ll be able to write it down. The form of your website should be defined by what you want to achieve, not how by you want it to look. Only after the writing was done properly, it’s time to start styling your website.

And the same is true for your email newsletter, your series of behaviour emails for your customers, a process document for how your team uses your CRM … and on and on.