Web Design News 16/07/10

Paul Boag

This week: A presentation from Relly about Microcopy, using Twitter for customer testimonials and saying ‘no’ to clients.

This week: A presentation from Relly about Microcopy, using Twitter for customer testimonials and saying ‘no’ to clients.

Microcopy – All the small things

Microcopy is the ninja of online content. Fast, furious and deadly, it has the power to make or break your online business, to kill or slay your foes. It’s a sentence, a confirmation, a few words. One word, even. It isn’t big or flashy. It doesn’t leave a calling card. If it does its job your customer may never notice it was there.

In this session from @Media2010 conference, Relly Annett-Baker takes you through the ins and outs of microcopy and sympathises with designers and developers who are often lumped with writing microcopy in the form of error messages or instructions and loads you full of great ideas for helping you fine tune your microcopy.

Using Twitter for customer testimonials

Screenshot of twitter testimonial on the Grabaperch website

One of the problems when using customer testimonials is the legitimacy can often be questioned and you’re often left wondering if the site owners have written them, or even how old they are. Rachel Andrew has written an article showing how she has harnessed the positive tweets on Twitter into testimonials for her Perch CMS. Rachel uses Twitter’s ‘favourites’ list to flag tweets for inclusion as a testimonial rather than a hashtag which is open to gaming and abuse.

Using Twitter in this way clearly tracks the testimonial back to the user who wrote them as well as when it was posted making them much more valuable both for the company, and for the users who read them.

Just say no to clients

The client isn’t always right. We know it, but we rarely challenge clients when they’re wrong which can cause problems in our relationships with them. In this article on Think Vitamin, Rob Mills presents two cases where problems could occur if you try and accommodate unreasonable client requests.

For example: client ideas which may not be appropriate for the project, and while you should at least listen to all the ideas a client may have, there’s a delicate balancing act here. The client knows their business better than you ever will, and you have the expertise and knowledge to recognise when an idea might have a negative effect, Rob highlights this by recommending that you work with the client to reach a compromise.

All in all, it’s OK to say no (in most cases) as long as you clearly explain why, and you collaborate with the client, you should both end up happy.