Does Bad Grammar Make Bad UX?


I have just finished reading this really interesting article in which [URL=“”]Georgina Laidlaw discusses how much of an impact bad grammar (eg: Choose file) can have on your beautifully designed interfaces.

I studied architecture (building, not information) at university and one of the earliest things that we learned was how to print beautifully. No one wants to spend days drafting up a drawing only to ruin it with ugly handwriting. Is this the same idea? On the one hand I agree with her, but on the other, some of the examples used in the article are so frequently used these days that they have become common parlance. Are we taking things a step too far, or is this simply a case of having pride in your work?


Yes indeed, bad grammar does make a poor UX. It marries in with continuity and having an eye for detail. I’m not suggesting we should all be avid proof readers but coherent and accurate communication is a part of UX.


An aim of good UX design is to communicate effectively with users. This takes many forms (visual, contextual, navigation). Good grammar, along with something that is well written can increase usability in UX.


Interesting point. Do you think that attention to detail is a core aspect of UX design?


I do. Especially if you are dealing with minimalist design. It may only be designers that can identify the smaller details. But I believe you have to strive for the best, which includes attention to detail.


Indeed, a great UX needs a great grammar. But what happens when a person writes better than talking?


What’s the context Ligia-Estera? My initial reaction to your question is to think of an article by Jared Spool on the 5 indispensable skills for UX mastery (nice article title, by the way, Jared!). The takeaway is that as UXers, we need to be constantly improving our communication skills, and that includes presenting and facilitating.

But I’m not sure if this is what you’re referring to?


Thanks, Matt. That article is perfect. For me, speaking in public is much harder than in writing. When I talk I start to stutter and my speaking (the logic behind the speech) becomes incoherent. Maybe is just the way I feel because of my lame explanations.

Ps. It doesn’t suit very well to the topic, sorry for that. :slight_smile: