Rewriting Copy For An App’s Website (When You Can’t Change The Design): Before and After

by Diana Ecker on October 7, 2014

taking iphone photoIf you have a phone with a camera, you probably find yourself taking a lot more photos than you used to.

And that makes it harder to keep up with organizing them, much less editing them.

In fact, you may need to scroll through hundreds and hundreds of images (including some junk) to find the one you’re looking for.

And when you finally get to it, it’s not as great as you remember!

Lumific is getting ready to change that.

In this post, you’ll see how the copy on Lumific’s website could be tweaked — so that potential users understand what Lumific is and how it can make their lives easier.

Frequently with a startup, busy founders don’t have the bandwidth to redesign their entire site or even a page. So what you’ll see here is an example of how you can make big changes — without jumping into a redesign.

The crucial above-the-fold message

When users reach the Lumific website, what’s the first thing they see?

Right now, it’s this:

Lumific home copy - original

There are a few places where a newcomer could get stuck:

  • What, exactly, is a smart photo assistant?
  • Who is doing the organizing and enhancing?
  • “Sign me up” — what am I committing to?

Here is an updated version of the copy above the fold that addresses (or removes) those issues:

Lumific home copy - new

Now we have a tantalizing prospect in the headline, immediately followed by a reassuring tagline: “Let Lumific do the work for you.”

In other words, you can have what you want — and you won’t have to lift a finger.

The perceived commitment has also been reduced. Now, you only have to be mildly intrigued to enter an email address. After all, you’re not “signing up” for anything. You’re just making sure you get an update.

Making it easier to be organized

Feeling overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of photos is pretty common these days. So this selling point — the organizational capability — could be compelling.

This description has some untapped potential:
Lumific organizing copy - original
This is a classic opportunity to shift from a feature to a benefit.

“Clever organization” describes a feature of Lumific, and it’s often harder to viscerally connect with a feature.

“We” is also a word to use with great care on a site like this (some copywriters would suggest not using it at all). It excludes the visitor. It’s vague. It pulls attention away from the main point.

Here’s what the new version looks like, with a deliberate shift from “we” to “you”:
Lumific organizing copy - new
Now you have an immediate sense of the real magic here — your photos will be organized for you. And you can focus on that message without being distracted by anything else in the copy.

Explaining automatic editing

The automatic editing that Lumific will do for your pictures is very cool, especially for users who take a lot of photos or don’t like to go through and edit each image.

Check out the current description:
Lumific editing copy - original
The message here is a little murky (although the phrase “sharper and brighter” is terrific). In this instance, the passive voice feels like a missed opportunity to shift the burden of the editing work to the app.

“Always” is also tricky here, with its suggestion of timelessness — it doesn’t send a visceral signal that the user’s current situation could be improved.

This copy should be as crisp and clear as a photo automatically enhanced by Lumific:
Lumific editing copy - new
The combination of “sharper” and “brighter” carry over from the first version — a great combo that should be kept around.

The major selling points here are that your photos will look great — and that the various modifications that can be made to a photo are no longer something you have to worry about, or even think about.

For that reason, a list of four (“sharpens, brightens, straightens and crops”) is fun and effective. Yes, it’s a little too long — and that’s the point. That pile of tasks? Lumific’s problem now. Not yours.


Now, is there potential to do a visual redesign as well? Yep. There is.

Even more, there is an opportunity for incredibly compelling before-and-after images (check out a relatively simple one here).

But in this situation — and others like it — honing the copy is an ideal place to start. The examples here show how you can update copy so it taps into the emotional needs of your users, emphasizes benefits, reduces distractions, and streamlines your message.

And you can stay up to date on Lumific by following them on Twitter or signing up (remember, you’re really just asking them to notify you) on their website.

Photo by m01229, modified and used under a Creative Commons license.

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