There is a double meaning to the phrase responsive copywriting. Let me explain exactly what I mean. I am not talking about traditional direct marketing. I am talking about writing copy for responsively designed websites.
Seeing the Boxes That Aren’t There
Responsive design is about boxes, grids, and columns. These invisible lines that make websites pleasant to look at and mimic a traditional print experience. These sites are so much more than this. That is why we have to think about the boxes we can’t see.
There is a beauty to responsive design. We have an infinite amount of boxes to play with. They all exist off the screen waiting for the user to find them. Coding is so advanced that we can have elements that only appear when they are needed. That is an amazing thing.
Every website has essentially become a Marauder’s Map that unfolds as a user explores the content.
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An Example of Responsive Copywriting
The Polon Copywriting Studio ,based out of the UK, took the message of responsive design to heart when writing for Pepper Digital. They were tasked with creating copy for a website that would be challenged by the ever changing layout. They won an award for their efforts at the 2011 Digital Media Awards.
It has become increasingly important for coypwriters to focus on what they can’t see by testing how their copy looks at various screen sizes.
Questions to ask:
How will this headline appear?
Do any words or punctuation appear truncated when a browser’s screen is resized?
How will the text look when scrolling?
What text do visitors from different devices see first?
These questions traditionally in the realm of designers are now also in the hands of writers. Website copywriting has become increasingly complex and the design, development, and writing teams need to talk to each other for the benefit of the overall site. That is why it never hurts for a writer to educate themselves on the basics of coding & design.
Hiring a Copywriter With Responsive Know How
How can you tell if a copywriter knows about responsive design? Try re-sizing their website. Just like Susansilver.net, you should see those hidden boxes at work. Each one rearranging themselves as the browser is resized. Try it with this post and tell me what you think in the comments.
You can also explore the Resume page to see how responsive design works with a more complex layout.