I published this article in March. It addresses how thinking about essential issues in content design and adhering to a style guide helps ensure your content is both correct and consistent.
From Google Ventures: 5 Rules For Writing Great Interface Copy is a good article that discusses 5 good things to keep in mind when writing UI copy. I like “Headlines and buttons are the pillars of our products. See, there’s a good chance you’ve been writing product pillars this whole time, and didn’t even know it.
The author really nails and details some of the guidelines UI writers should practice daily (clarity, specificity, directness, labeling, etc.). His bit on personality is interesting in the light of how some UI lines and buttons need to be angled a certain way, like being more playful, while still being clear and logical. In such a situation, one needs to find a good medium in establishing personality/voice and getting to the point without being silly or confusing.
The key thing I think non-writers need to “get” from this article is that writing is part of the design process, essential as any other part, and is itself design. It has no single place in the design process, but needs to be considered throughout the process.
When it’s time to do a bit of writing that serves the purpose of satiating our more creative outlets, we often think about escaping. The thought process likely has to do with removing ourselves from the more familiar places in our lives—where we know the sort of distractions that occur—and setting up to write in some coffee shop or a nice park or someplace similar. However, what may seem to be ideal writing spots in the mind, may actually be counterproductive.
This bit is really more about the types of writing we do outside of work. This is to say, whether or not you’re a professional writer, I’m always under the assumption that everyone who visits this blog has their own active blog, freelance project, in-the-works novel/book, or other creative writing project. Therefore, I’m sharing a perspective on The Best – and Worst – Places to Write.
Here’s a Reddit site on Calling out crappy design. It’s a largely humorous site where you can check out others’ submissions of poor designs and submit your own. It’s is easily to get lost and spend way too much time here.
One of my biggest causes in professional and other writing is to remove virtually all passive voice (yes, yes, there ARE some times when it is intentional and correct), so I often remove gerunds to fix sentences. However, there are other considerations with the gerund than the effort to make sentences precise and active.