Choose the right words for your interfaces

Most of us use interfaces every day; the apps on our smartphones, train departure boards, maps, chatbots and even the control panels on our microwaves. So every day, we see hundreds of words without really reading them – words like ‘OK’ and ‘Defrost’ and ‘I confirm that I am over 18 years of age’.

We don’t think about the words in these interfaces much, but they can have a powerful effect on usability, particularly the first few times we use an interface, or when we’re trying to do something new. If we skip over them, it’s usually a sign that they are doing their job well – but it can take a great deal of effort to achieve this.

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Reed Words is a brand writing agency based in London, working across the globe with clients such as Skype, Disney, and London's National Theatre, as well as creative partners such as Mucho, FITCH and SomeOne. The work covers brand strategy, voice, campaigns, UX – you name it. Or get them to name it – Reed Words does that too.