Web pages, funding bids & proposals UX tip: Copy and paste ‘insurance’ policies never work

Heatmap to show where users have clicked on a website page. Produced by Wordraising copywriting

Good UX (user experience) is about knowing what your reader wants and editing down to deliver that.

When your work place is busy and full of interruptions it’s hard to stay focused on your business communications.

Sometimes you forget what you actually wanted to say in the first place.

So, to compensate for being put off by the interruptions, by all the stopping and starting,  this is what can happen:

You go for putting everything about everything in every proposal, in every bid, in every web page, in every message.

Find, copy and paste. Find, copy and paste.

It’s like a common sense insurance policy – everything is so busy with us and our customers and life in general – we’ll give ’em everything – some of it must stick, they’ll be able to sort it out, surely???

Nope.

Trouble is – copy and paste insurance policies don’t work with website content

(or your annual report or your proposal or your newsletter or your email list …..)

It’s not insurance. The ‘we’ll copy it all, we’ll give ’em everything’  routine, (regardless of the context, regardless of your objective), doesn’t protect your business; it undermines it.

copy and paste

It switches off customers, or clients or supporters or patrons or whoever’s on the other side of your business. That’s because nobody feels really spoken to, nobody feels personally addressed or answered.

What sticks when we have to read everything about everything is the feeling of not being personally spoken to.

When we don’t feel personally addressed our energy level and interest drops off and we drift or bounce away.

Sometimes it’s as brutally straight as ‘if you don’t answer the specific questions that we’re asking you in that particular box then we have to exclude you from the process’.

Don’t show me your warehouse

We’re all busy.

With information, we rarely want more of it. We want the potent bit that talks to me only.

So here’s the tip. You should either:

  • carve out some time to switch your phone off and lock the door when you’re writing, because chucking everything in when you’re distracted is bad strategy
  • OR get some outside help to edit down your business communications for context and impact after you’ve worked out the gist of what you really want to say.

Don’t show me your warehouse ….. I haven’t got the time or energy

… bring the thing I want to the counter.

(please) (or I’ll be less keen to come to the counter next time)