Adding Clarity, not Confusion

A recent project has been keeping me very busy, as we redesign a site with numerous content problems, including a large amount of jargon-heavy copy. Our next step is to prioritize the many pages that need rewrites. We’ll know we’ve been successful if users are able to understand information without calling the help line.

And now we’re faced with a conundrum.

In the case of a complex jargon-filled site, just updating copy to be clear can make a world of difference. In that case, creating a personality-filled voice can either make the copy even better, or just add confusion.

Here are 5 tips for creating a jargon-free, confusion-free voice: Continue Reading


Best Practices when Writing for the Web

“When there’s no time or budget to work with a content strategist, research the target audience, and define a specific company voice, there are still some basic rules writers and designers can follow to make sure that web copy is clear, concise, and compelling.” Best Practices When Writing for the Web

After years of frustration working with lorem ipsum, designers who create links that say “Click Here,” and even some junior copywriters who never learned what Headers are for, I’ve created a list of best practices when writing for the web.

Are you a designer, who occasionally puts in placeholder copy?

Are you a content strategist, who’s tired of correcting the same things over and over?

Are you an agency copywriter, who wants your clients to be self sufficient and write their own first-round copy?

Check out these simple best practices, to use when you’re writing for the web.


Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Three days ago, roughly 128 people were killed in mass shootings across Paris.

Four days ago, roughly 40 people were killed in a double suicide bombing in Beirut.

One month ago, roughly 95 people were killed in a bombing in Ankara.

Today, my Facebook feed is divided. Many people have changed their profile pictures to honor Paris and show support. Many others are posting frustrated, angry responses, criticizing that support when so many other places, such as Beirut, receive no attention.

Of course, they’re all right.  Continue Reading



I have a friend, a fellow UX professional, who once defined compromise to me. “Compromise is when nobody is happy with the end result,” she said.

It’s important to remember that this idea exists. It’s important to prove that idea wrong. Then the only unhappiness will be when the person who believed that compromise caused people to be happy realizes they were wrong and that they don’t like being wrong. But they’ll be happy about the compromise. And that’s what’s important.



Style Guide for Visual and Content

When most people hear “style guide” they think of pixels, colors, and logos. These are all valuable assets for a visual designer or front-end developer, but it neglects the content creators, editors, curators, and publishers. They too need to understand the brand style, though they’re not looking for pixel guidelines.

A true style guide should include not only the visual brand elements, but the content guidelines. In the same way that visual guidelines ensure new designers will maintain the brand integrity, content guidelines will guarantee that future copywriters write in a consistent brand voice. The voice represents the brand at least as much (if not more) than the visual elements, and as such, content guidelines are a key component to any style guide. Continue Reading


Live from LavaCon: Content Strategy vs. Content Engineering

lavaconContent Strategy vs. Content Engineering: The Emerging Role of The Content Engineer, by Cruce Saunders

A content tragedy: They intended to personalize, to reuse content, to have a great taxonomy. In reality, the developers couldn’t do it. The project was a failure.

What could they do to improve this for next time? They asked some questions. Continue Reading


Live from Bolo: The New Creative Breed

The New Creative Breed, by Tina Cervera

Social media has changed dramatically over the years. From 2007-2010 it was about community growth. Then it was about engagement, and now it’s about accomplishing business goals with social media just being a channel.

They try to tell stories that are relevant, for specific people, through specific channels. Continue Reading


Live from Bolo: Getting Physical with Digital

Getting Physical With Digital, by Alasdair Lloyd-Jones

BOLO2015-LOGO_AIWhat is a brand experience? Nobody knows. Set creates brand experiences in the physical space. They try to give it a story that separates it out from other brands.

  • Definition: Multichannel, many
  • Definition: Crosschannel, to go across
  • Definition: Omnichannel, to be universal


54% of shoppers (over 7 countries) preferred shopping in the store. Because they create an experience. Tiffanys and Warby Parker do the best job online of creating an experience, and they are top brands (most sales) as a result. Stores – even Apple – have realized picking things up in stores is a better experience (particularly if you pre-order). Continue Reading