Your company pays close attention to avoid spelling and grammar mistakes in your marketing materials. You know that even “small” mistakes such as typos, and misspelled words, can affect a user’s perception of your brand, attention to detail, and professionalism.
But here’s where things can go wrong…
Picture this, Corporation X has a mobile app that was originally created by an overseas company where the team members do not speak English as their first language. Or, by a local freelance developer who scored low grades in English (but high grades in Objective-C!).
As well as writing all the code and designing the user-interface, that team or person also writes every English word your audience will read while using the app. I’m talking things like:
- Error messages (“Invaled Password. Please try again.”)
- Confirmation messages (“Success! You’re photo is uploaded correctly.”)
- Instructions (“Please type carefully your email ID below.”)
Unfortunately, it’s easy for your staff to miss these mistakes if, as an example, you don’t press the button that causes the awkwardly written message to appear. The mistakes that don’t get caught tend to be the ones that are in less frequently viewed pages and messages.
Here are three best practices we recommend to prevent this problem:
1. Do Not Embed Text Directly in the Code
Rather than embedding user-visible text directly into the code, ask your development team to use separate resource files. This isolates all text to separate files that can be easily reviewed, and modified.
2. Developers Should Not Write the Text
But, if they do, have someone(s) on your team with impeccable English skills receive and review a list of ALL user messages.
3. Better Yet: Hire an Experienced Technical Writer
Writing effective user messages for software takes an extra level of care beyond just proper spelling and grammar.
Error messages need to be easily understood, friendly and concise. Software copywriters and technical writers know how to create text, messages and titles with the user in mind. If your team does not include a copywriter, hire one for this project.