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What board games teach us about combining copy with design

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You probably played a board game at least once in your life.

Maybe it was Monopoly or maybe Risk, when you felt that aggressive itch.

For how dated and status quo these games might be considered in today’s times of consoles, VR, AR etc., they can teach us a lot about how to design experiences.

Like for instance how to combine our web design and UX with the copy we use to sell.

Thing is, a lot of businesses think of them in silos.

But they should work together. And the better they do it, the more prospects you’ll convert.

In a recent interview, Elan Lee, co-creator of the board game Exploding Kittens shares their thought process for building their boxes:

“…our mantra as a company is opening that box has to be a delight. Everything you touch in there has to feel beautiful, it has to feel like someone loved this thing, because we’re about to ask those players for a lot.

We’re about to say, “Put down your phone, holy crap, put down your phone, read 15 minutes worth of instructions,” that’s a huge ask, 15 minutes, and explain it to everybody else at the table, and then try playing the game and you’re probably going to screw it up and read them again and then try it again.

The dropout rate is enormous, but if they feel like someone really cares about this thing, someone really devoted time, maybe it’ll give us more of a chance. …We need to make a beautiful product, we need to make something that people fall in love with as much as we are in love with it. And that’s the translation. Our love will equal theirs.”

It’s the same when it comes to your design and the copy that goes with it.

Unless your branding, design and visual elements support the messaging, you’ll inevitably see people dropout (aka bounce).

I love how Elan talks about putting themselves in their customer’s shoes: imagine what you’re asking them to do…

People just landed on your site, they probably already have competing solutions they are looking at, they are probably in a rush, maybe on their phone… if they’re in B2B, they might have their boss(es) breathing on their necks for a decision…

… and then they stumble on a cheap-looking, incoherent and unintentional design.

Their trust alarms get triggered. Their motivation for reading wanes.

Even if your copy is strong you already lost 50% of their attention.

But design doesn’t only serve in creating trust…

It can also add context and “information” to your message.

Specifically when it comes to voice and tone.

For example, your copy can be somewhat bland and just plain clear. But put it next to a funny illustration and boom, you instantly added new meaning to what you’re trying to convey (take Mailchimp’s website).

So remember, when it comes to design and copy, make them work as buddies.

Always ask:

  • What am I asking my visitors / prospects to do here?
  • How can I make it easy and a pleasure?
  • What constraints am I working with and how can I make the most of them?

All of this and more is what we do at Conversion Alchemy.

Need help? Get in touch.

Quote and reflection of the day:

“A pro who has been processing issues for decades understands that nobody does anything to him without his allowing it”

– Patrick Bet-David, Your Next Five Moves

The more challenges you face and and learn from, the more you’ll assume responsibility for your own situation and the more you’ll be in control of it.

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brain dump?

Every week I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

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