The copy process

Copy is fundamental to a good product or service experience – it is a reflection of the company and builds a relationship with users. Typos and/or careless copy creates a bad first impression. After all, if a company doesn’t care about typos or grammatical errors, it means that they aren’t taking care of the small things – and that means they’re most likely not taking care of the big things either. (Do you know that saying, how we do one thing, is actually how we do all things? So it’s a little like that.)

 

Secondly, copy is a storytelling process that also helps shape the UX of the user journey, improving or hindering understanding when it comes to using a product or service. And that means, that good copy takes a deep level of understanding, teamwork, and time. However, when set up well, there’s no need for the old well known triangle of mutually exclusive choices: Good, Fast, Cheap. You can have good copy fast with a well set up and developed process.

 

 

What writers need

  • Early introduction to a topic, including the big picture.
  • “Why are we doing this?”
  • Deep understanding of technical functionality.
  • “What does it help the user do
  • “How does it help them do it?”
  • Some time to craft and evaluate.
  • The more a writer knows about the above, the faster they’ll be able to complete a copy task. That said, it is still a creative process and needs time to mature and/or for a writer to evaluate options.

The writing process

A note on how long it takes to implement copy. This may take 1 hour, day, or week depending on the difficulty level of a task and the number of people involved.

  1. MEETING 1 Brief a writer. Ideally with all of the above.
  2. COPY EXPLORATIONS The writer takes away the topic and begins working. In this stage, the writer may also explore different copy approaches. Further questions may come up during the first stage writing process or they may write the copy without issue if it’s a simple edit – if so, skip to step 4.
  3. MEETING 2 (Optional) if questions come up, there is a second meeting to answer further questions and share early copy thoughts.
  4. MEETING 3 (Optional) If MEETING 2 doesn’t help consult with the PM or an engineer. Or, if there are various possible copy options, use this stage to decide on the “best” copy approach together as a team.
  5. COPY WRITING Writer finishes the copy, and evaluates it alone. Sometimes this needs an overnight test if there are different copy approaches being considered.
  6. COPY SHARING Writer shares the copy with the designer or team for feedback.
  7. FEEDBACK STAGE Writer finesses and edits based on feedback (if there is any).

FINAL COPY The copy is ready to be implemented.