It’s our job to offer solutions to poorly worded experiences, but it’s also our job to maintain the integrity of our writing by refusing to write copy that deliberately misleads users.
If you’re a writer in a situation where you need to push back, here’s some language that could be helpful to use, depending on your circumstance:
- I don’t feel comfortable writing language that misleads users. I suggest we use ___ instead.
- This flow seems misleading. How might we get the information we’re looking for without implying the feature already exists?
- UX writing best practices typically have the button call-to-action match the verb in the header. This modal would be more clear if the implied action in the title matched the CTA. How about we rephrase it like this: ___?
I’ve already ranted and rambled about the dark UX art of “copy-shaming”, but Andrea Drugay digs even deeper and talks about how the UX/UI writers out there can take a stand against it and gain the user’s trust without losing the effect these kinds of tactics are trying to capture.