Microcopy 101: A closer look at Go-To Skincare
I’m a big fan of Zoe Foster Blake. She’s a writer, ex-beauty editor, published author, businesswoman extraordinaire. She’s also a Mum. And she’s incredibly funny.
With a measly 642K followers on Instagram, I’m clearly not the only person who admires her. But this article isn’t about fangirling over Foster Blake.
I wanted to take a detailed look at the UX writing, microcopy and tone of voice across her skincare website, Go-To Skincare.
I’m always on the lookout for great examples of microcopy and UX writing that really nails the brand voice. I keep coming back to Go-To, pleasantly surprised with the wit, humour but most importantly, the overall ease of use and guidance throughout the site.
Go-To’s attention to detail makes online shopping a pleasurable and memorable user experience, one that consistently surprises and delights. As UX writers and copywriters, isn’t that what we’re all trying to achieve for the businesses and brands we work with?
Let’s just dive right in.
1. Hero Product Page: Face Products
Opening copy above the fold: “Go-To won’t piss off your skin.” Conversational tone, no jibber jabber, no outlandish promises beauty websites/brands proclaim.
The tone of voice immediately clear with the use of ‘piss off’, ‘heck’, ‘nasties’- informal and approachable tone throughout. Very Australian language here.
Attention to detail right down to the sarcastic Trademark ™ and Registered ® symbols.
Quirky icons and emojis for Account, Currency, Cart and Help top right corner.
Great use of ‘we’ and ‘you’ throughout copy to instantly connect the user to the brand.
2. Free Shipping made fun
From the ‘OMG!’ to the ‘Hooray!’ tone of voice is a bit silly, excitable, positive- but still gets the message through. i.e ‘You’re only $19 away from free standard shipping.’
The moving box package graphic adds a little fun and lets the user celebrate free shipping more than the standard messaging on most E-comm websites.
Notice the product pages simple layout to move from ‘All’, “Face’, ‘Body’, ‘Mens’ for quick jumping between categories without having to head back up to main navigation.
Not copy related: notice the imagery throughout the site, no glamorous celebrities, very natural, very understated, very little makeup, no smiling or perfectly posed women. The images reflected back are normal, naturalwomen.
3. Account login: scattered pop culture references
Again with the conversation tone, the odd swear word and pop culture references from movies like Clueless or Mean Girls- cult classics for women now in their 30’s, the target demographic. If you’re unfamiliar with Go-To Skincare, although being branded as straight forward, simple and approachable no-nonsense skincare, it’s not cheap. The price point is still up there with serious established international brands. Price points of $41 for moisturiser, $31 for cleanser, $45 for serum. The women who this brand speaks to are smart, savvy, they care about the health of their skin without buying into bullshit. They just want no-fuss products that work. Whether it comes in a pretty glass jar is irrelevant.
Placeholder microcopy is comical.
Button copy and notifications are fun but not distracting. The copy is clear, concise and straightforward. Nothing is trying to be too clever or too smart.
4. Account Info
Simple, clean UI. Not too copy-heavy, enough white space to let the key messages stand out.
Tone is conversational, appreciative but the page works hard to be helpful more than anything else. Again, the personality and voice of the page doesn’t distract from the actual purpose.
Copy features more throw backs to the late 90’s, early 00’s pop culture reference, hit TV show Dawson’s Creek. As a woman in her early 30’s, this is a nostalgic reference. We all swooned over these characters in high school.
Even the LOG OUT link reflects how the user is feeling. They’ve scanned, they’ve searched, they’ve purchased, now let them get THE HELL OUT OF HERE.
Fun, quirky ‘scrolly moly’ Instagram microcopy and straightforward, purposeful button copy tells the user what to expect next.
Tying in peach, grey, white colour palette and brand essence into the Instagram feed seamlessly.
Unique and fun finger pointing to scroll instead of usual arrows.
Okay last one, folks.
6. The Footer
Too many tiny details to put purple circles around on this one. From the placeholder copy on the newsletter subscription to the text ‘We’re everywhere’ re: social media, to the little icons and emojis splattered around the footer.
Another reminder that Go-To products are cruelty-free with the ‘Phew!’ above the bunny rabbit icon.
All in all the footer is again, silly, but not absurd. It’s helpful. It’s jam-packed with useful information without being overwhelming or confusing.
The real clincher is in ‘Free trip to Bali’- click on that and what pops up is…
….Rick Astley’s 80’s hit ‘Never Gonna Give You Up.’
No, it’s not a free trip to Bali. But I don’t even care. I’ve been surprised, and delighted, by a nostalgic pop song.
Key Takeaways for your next UX writing project
Know your audience: right down to online shopping habits, ethical values, pop culture, and nostalgic references.
Know the user’s state of mind when they’re visiting your website. In this case, women are both shopping with purpose but also discovering more valuable content- FAQs, skincare regimes for day versus night, ethical values of the company.
Don’t let cute or funny text get in the way of clear and concise instructions and guidance.
Be funny (if that’s your style) but don’t be over the top about it and don’t let it distract the user from completing their primary task.
Attention to detail. This is the element I’m most impressed with from Go-To. The smallest details make a huge difference in the overall user experience. Whether it’s tone, style, language, microcopy, icons or emojis. Everything works together seamlessly to deliver a brilliant user experience.
I’d love to know whether Zoe Foster Blake wrote much of the copy on Go-To’s site. Even though her face doesn’t appear once on any of the pages and there’s no bio about her specifically, you can really feel her presence and style throughout. The copy is warm and inviting, funny and kooky. The creative agency behind the brand absolutely nailed it.
Over to you…
Does this skincare brand resonate with you? Or does it miss the mark?
Do you think the microcopy and UX writing is on point? Or over the top?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.