“Why do we — as web-builders — overlook even the most basic aspects of language so frequently when we build our sites? Is language so transparent in our lives that we fail to recognize its importance?” -Julia Hayden
The answer to Julia’s second question is yes. The omnipresence of language hides its overwhelming importance from us; it’s one of those “don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” situations.
That’s why I recommend Netdisaster to anyone who wants to know if hiring a copywriter is “worth it.” Just enter the website’s URL, select “text sucker” as your preferred disaster, and let the magic vacuum do its thing.
This is what happens when you remove Amazon’s homepage copy:
Think that’s bad? Look at what happens to a product page without copy:
Pretty hard to use a website like that, isn’t it?
Intuitive graphic design is important, but let’s not forget the findings of Apple’s Human Interface Group*:
“In 1985, after finding that pretty but unlabeled icons confused customers, the Apple Computer Human Interface Group adopted the motto, “A word is worth a thousand pictures,” and a descriptive word or phrase was added beneath all Macintosh icons.”
So, the next time your boss or a prospective client fails to see the full value of Web copy, give ‘em a dose of the text sucker. This may be one situation where a picture truly is worth (more than) a thousand (persuasive) words.
Oh, right! I almost forgot the tips. Well, it’s actually the same tip 1,000 times over.
Tips #1 – 1,000: Don’t be cheap! Hire persuasive copywriters.