Why Copy That? 🤔
“So what’s the name of your company?” “Copy That.”
Over the past few weeks, we’ve had a few variations of the above exchange. Every time we’d tell someone the name of our new UX writing company, their reaction would be along these lines:
Amusement. Delight. A grin. Laughter. The occasional “ha!” or “nice”.
Because everyone was in on the joke. Everyone understood the layers of the name, and why it made all the sense in the world. Because yes, it's a great wordplay wink to our work being rooted in copywriting. But the work we do has an even deeper connection to the very definition of the phrase “copy that”:
I heard and understood the message.
“Copy that”, or simply “copy”, originally comes from morse code communications. Morse code operators listened to transmissions and jotted down each letter or number immediately (a technique known as “copying”). Once radio communications became a thing, “copy” would be said to acknowledge that information had been received (source: Who is 'Roger?' Military lingo explained).
When users interact with your website or app, that same transmission of information happens. In essence, users are trying to have a conversation with your interface. The copy in your interface is speaking to your users, answering questions, providing feedback or guidance, and telling them what action they need to perform next. Poorly written UX copy makes for a bad conversation and can ruin even the most stunningly designed UI.
As UX writers, it’s our responsibility to write copy that not only embodies the voice of the company but is also useful and considerate of its users. It needs to speak your users’ language, make for a good conversation, and (perhaps most important of all) be understood by your users.
In short, Copy That is the perfect name for what we strive to do every time we set our proverbial pen to paper, and why people's eyes light up with delight and understanding when they see or hear it for the first time.
And that feels pretty damn good.
(Michelle, over and out.)