No Nonsense Logo

Are you working on a web or app interfaces? Mocking up UI for a new component? Updating an existing piece of UI? "Scrubbing" a single text string in a message or dialog box?

I approach each screen with two goals:

  • ensure that any words on the screen will help enable the user to successfully complete the task at hand
  • ensure that the design and the text complement each other.

Language skills are only part of the story: I put myself in the place of a new or inexperienced user — even for very technical UI, since even administrators have to start fresh at some point — and walk through each screen, no matter the size or context, trying to complete each page's task or tasks.

I take the information flow and the design into consideration as well as the words or lack thereof: text is affected by and can affect the screen design and ultimately affect usability. I click (or imagine I'm clicking) everything — and I ask questions!

I pay attention to a variety of issues, from spelling, and usability issues that can affect customer satisfaction, to trademark and geopolitical issues that can result in lawsuits.

As opposed to editing software documentation, the writing and editing of UI text crosses over to a huge extent into design issues: graphics (color, for example), interaction design (such as 'navigation' issues), and general usability issues.

  • Can users complete the task they want to complete?
  • Do they know what task they are supposed to complete at any given point?
  • Do they know what tasks are available to them at a given point?
  • Can they tell what will happen if they proceed down any given path?
  • If they make a mistake, can they back out gracefully or undo the mistake?
  • In short, are they given sufficient information, textually and graphically, to do all of the above?