Weekly UX Writing Review: KptnCook App. Part 1

As a UX Writer, I often try new apps to review their microcopy and get some insights. If you are a UX Writer or a Content Designer, this can be a nice exercise for you. In case you work on your own app and don’t have a UX Writer, you can pick some nice tips on how to improve user experience copy in your product.

Links to other app reviews can be found at the end of this article.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Let’s start!

I love cooking, and Ive run into KptnCook while searching App Store for some new apps with recipes. At first, I didn’t realize what Kptn stands for, but later I’ve guessed that it is a Captain. Why Captain? We’ll learn later.

Kptn stands for Captain

Promotional Screen

In Part 1 of the review, I want to touch upon the first promotional screen. While analyzing it, I’ve thought of 5 tips that can be used to make the UX writing on this screen better. At the end of the article, we’ll apply them to the screen together.

The first line nicely welcomes us and sounds fresh and lively. It’s not a generic Welcome to KptnCook, which is nice. But what’s wrong with the copy? Well, it has nothing to do with cooking. We guess that Kptn stands for Captain due to having Ahoy! and board in the same piece of text. But how is this marine setting connected to recipes? Looks like a confusing disconnection from the main idea of the app.

Screenshot taken from the app. Has nothing to do with ships :-)

I’ve searched for their website. The text in their search results says Become your own chef! OK, now I can guess what they wanted to tell. The idea of being a chef in the kitchen nicely resembles the idea of being the captain of a ship. They’ve just lost this connection in the app and the narrative is broken.

The second thing that I notice is the focus of the user. There are five pieces of text on this screen: step number, welcome text, the app’s main idea, button text, terms of use line. They should have different priority and visual weight. Step number and terms of use line are less interesting and important here, so they are quite invisible. The button text is noticeable and looks good. And, we have two very similar text elements that shouldn’t argue with each other. The designer has done their job. One is bold and big, the other one is small and looks minor. But is it OK that the main purpose of the app is presented this way on the very first screen? I guess it’s not.

The greeting draws too much attention
The main purpose of the app looks minor

I like the approach to the welcome text starting with Ahoy Kptn! It creates a special atmosphere and draws attention. I’ve touched upon the issue with the narrative in Tip 1 paragraph. Still, this piece of text works. The thing I like less is the button.

The button has generic text

It says Continue, which sounds generic. I see this Next or Continue button in every other app and wonder why UX writers don’t use the full potential of the narrative.

Of course, it’s not a good idea to create custom copy for each element of the interface, as it may be frustrating. But the promotional screen is the perfect place for adding some uniqueness and flavor. The idea of being a captain and getting on board can be easily developed and used for the button as well.

When crafting microcopy look at each word in your piece of text and decide whether it really should be here. Be brave and remove all not-so-important words to bring the main idea to the front. I’m sure both the welcome line and the text above the button can be either shortened or can be filled with more important information while having the same length. We’ll try to do this a bit later.

This tip is deriving from the previous ones. UX writers should always think about the text in the context. The worst thing they can do is to create microcopy in a text editor without adding it to the mock-up. It is important to check where the piece of text is placed, what else is on the screen, how visual accents are distributed. On this particular screen, the visual accents are good, but when we look at the information, we see that the main idea is not in focus.

Also, check how microcopy is combined with images. Sometimes illustrations can add to the text as they deliver information as well. Here the image adds to the atmosphere as it shows the ship. It could add even more if it somehow combined the ship with cooking. It’s a challenge, still, I’m sure it’s possible. And, the narrative would be clear.

Now let’s apply the tips!

With these 5 points in mind, let’s think of how the UX writing of this promotional screen can be improved.

For this screen, I’d suggest leaving just Ahoy Kptn! above. Now it looks short and crisp and still has that marine flavor. At the same time, it doesn’t draw too much attention and leaves users a chance to read that important text above the button.

before: Ahoy Kptn! Great to have you on board!
after:
Ahoy Kptn!

Now let’s look at the button. We’ve just removed the Great to have you on board! part. I like the idea of getting on board, as it nicely fits the narrative. I suggest using it for the button instead of its generic Continue text. We just transform it into a CTA. Looks better?

before: Continue
after: Get on board

It’s time to work with the text above the button. I still think that UX design changes are necessary to improve the focus. But we work with what we have.

First, I get rid of words that don’t add any new or important information. It’s obvious that the app is going to help us somehow, and there’s no need to repeat its name, as we’ve partially mentioned it in the greeting Ahoy Kptn! And, I remove the period to reduce visual noise.

before: KptnCook helps you prepare an easy and healthy dinner each day.
after: Cook an easy and healthy dinner each day

Now the text gets concise and clear the main purpose of the app shines bright.

I’ve mentioned that the connection between ships and cooking is not evident, which confuses me as a user. It could be resolved by the image if it also included the idea of cooking. If we decide to solve it with text, we can try the following:

before: Cook an easy and healthy dinner each day
after: Be your own chef! Cook an easy and healthy dinner each day

In this way, we add the idea of becoming a chef in a kitchen, just like there’s a captain in a ship.

Takeaways

  1. Mind the narrative. Deliver it in a clear way.
  2. Keep the main idea in focus. Draw the user’s attention to the main things.
  3. Avoid generic text. Create unique copy for interface elements.
  4. Remember that less is more. Remove unnecessary words, add important information.
  5. Always think about the context. Use mock-ups, look at illustrations.

P.S. I hope this has been a useful exercise. You’re welcome to share your thoughts.

Disclaimer: I’m not a native English speaker, so grammar and spelling aren’t perfect. Though UX writing principles that I mention can be applied to any language.

Lead UX Writer / Proud Belarusian