12 — Speak their language

In your app, good writing can go a very long way for your users. It’s one of the few elements that actually isn’t an abstract concept. That may sound a little strange at first, but let me explain.

Computers are weird. They’ve not been around for very long. Humans have existed for millions of years yet the graphical user interface has existed only since the late seventies. Even in that short time, what we’ve learnt from interacting with computers is constantly changing. Just look at mainframes, to laptops, to mobiles, to AR and VR. There are paradigm shifts in what we consider “interfaces”, all the time.

It’s important to minimise those abstracts. It’s important to continually ground your users in what is easy to discover, easy to understand and what to do next.

Think of the type of language your users are already familiar with. A person who does corporate marketing will talk very differently to a stay-at-home husband who likes to do cooking. Do your best to infuse that same language throughout your experience to help users feel more connected with what you’re providing.

When you're making a new app, you’re creating a new world, and you’re expecting your users to come inside, walk around and understand what it is, what it does and what to do next. Like a tourist in a foreign country, who can’t speak the language, a lot of friction and confusion arise. It’s important to aid your users in their journey wherever possible and using clear, concise wording can help. Even better if you can speak their dialect.


Talking the same language as your users makes your app feel more familiar, more friendly, and less abstract. People will engage more with an app that “speaks” to them. Your users should feel like your app is for them. You’re on their team and you are there to help. Be a friend.

Further learning topics: Microcopy, Voice & Tone

James Morris

Hey, I'm James 👋 I want to know what you think and would love some feedback. Just reach out over email. Say hey!