Is Anyone Reading This? Why Product Content Matters
The Wix Writers' Guild recently offered an internal workshop on blog writing for some of our leading product managers and developers. We talked about the value of keeping a blog, how to structure a blog post and the way we approach text. Then, we sent them on their way with a homework assignment: Write your own blog post on a subject of your choice.
Last month, we featured a post about boosting your creativity by Einat Halperin, Head of Blog at Wix. Today's featured article is by Product Manager, Sarah Hindman. We hope you enjoy!
Let me set the stage for you.
You are sitting at your desk. Probably with a designer or a content writer, and you're trying to tell a story. You are trying to find the right text for a design. This content means everything to you. It’s a crucial way for you to communicate to your users directly what you want them to do. To click. To view. To submit. To pay.
This button, this title, this description. There’s a lot on the line. Your KPI, actually, is on the line.
Now don’t be shy. I’m sure everyone has been in that moment where you think to yourself or even say out loud, “Are they even gonna read this?”
And that’s my question.
Honestly, cards on the table here, I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve spent a lot of my career banking on the fact that they do. And I also know that the Wix Logo Maker just got back from usability testing, where we met with real users and watched them use our product for the first time. And one of the biggest takeaways was seeing how important content is. How much words matter. We walked away realizing that we needed to make major changes to our product content—the story we are telling our users—to make things crystal clear.
One of the biggest takeaways was seeing how important content is. How much words matter.
Let’s look at an example from our recent usability testing. (For confidentiality purposes, I’ll refer to this user as Jane Doe.)
Jane took one look at our package picker and threatened us. She told us that if she were at home designing a logo for her therapy business with Wix Logo Maker, she’d literally report us to the authorities and start a lawsuit for writing the words “Free Domain” as the 7th item in a list of benefits. She’d seen those two words, then read the tool tip that it was only free for the first year, and this made her, well, seriously pissed.
Then, there was the user who didn’t understand that the button called “Get Your Logo” was the way to go to the next stage of the flow.
Or another user, who thought the word “Shape” in the editing panel referred to the shape of the canvas you were designing your logo on, rather than a shape element that you can add to your logo design.
There were dozens of difficulties, misunderstandings and blockers, and they all centered around content. After meeting with my team to debrief the usability testing, we realized we'd uncovered 3 core takeaways about content, which we won't soon forget.
But first, a small disclaimer:
Usability testing is a tricky thing. The users we met with were getting paid to be there. They were also sitting in a room with a camera in front of their face and we literally told them to read out loud. Some can argue that this environment wasn’t entirely conducive to creating a real life example of how users look at and perceive our product. Perhaps it was just because the users needed to speak aloud that they actually read the content in front of them. But regardless, they read—everything. And it helped us understand something irrefutable. Words matter. A lot.
Lesson #1: Make Your Writer Your Travel Buddy
Bring a content writer with you whenever you do usability testing.
It’s important for content writers to know their impact on the product. We came back and told the content writer, “Listen, they were so confused by the package picker.” This was not enough. Content writers needed to hear the pause that users had when they read text within the product. They needed to cringe when users clicked on the back button because they didn’t understand where or how they had arrived on a certain page. They needed to witness, first hand, the user experience and be able to ask questions. They needed to be there and feel every moment, so they could write the content that will make all the difference for our users.
Lesson #2: The Best Content Comes from the Source
It was clear that our attempt to be fresh and cool with the CTA, “Get your logo,” was simply not direct enough. There were several options on the table, but the best one came from our most valuable source—our users. And that magical word was simply, “Next.”
Lesson #3: Less Is More
This was something we already knew, but I guess we needed a reminder. Text needs to be as simple as possible, no exceptions.
K.I.S.S: Keep it simple, stupid.
More than everything else, what do we want from our users? We want them to act. To click. To buy. To view. People play around, and they also read. It's our job to hold their hands and be straightforward about what they need to do next and, most importantly, explain the benefits so they know why.
Everything Needs to Be Tested
After we came back from testing in San Francisco, with a new pair of Nike's and a whole new perception on content, we started testing our theories.
The first thing we tackled actually happened during the testing. While still in California, we called up our content writer and came up with several new options for the CTA button text. Working with the users, we tested the CTA button with the text the users had suggested. It won by 5% and 7% on the package picker.
Next, we tested simpler wording, or the K.I.S.S method, on a screen where we wanted to explain to the user that they get a matching website with their logo. This also won.
Plus, since we saw how much users want to read, we added big, content rich, screens to explain each feature in the package picker. This a huge success that led to an 18% increase in sales.
So, are users reading this? I don’t know. But if you ever find yourself at the brink of saying that they probably aren’t, remember Jane, who was ready to sue us for using “Free Domain.” She may or may not take you to court for your content—so keep it simple.
Sarah Hindman, Product Manager at Wix