The Art of Passive Aggressive Copywriting

/ San Francisco, California

I wrote about how we’re trying to be more playful with copywriting at Sentry and what other websites get wrong:

Every website, to my ear, sounds as if it’s written by the same maniacally happy person sat at their keyboard typing. But I get why. Companies want to sound alert, inspiring, delighted to meet your acquaintance yet because this writing style is now so common, it has the same effect as using the popular, boring ol’ typefaces over and over again: something special is lost in the repetitiveness of it all. Just open up any app on your phone and it’s guaranteed to be too bland to remember, the writing equivalent of when every website was using Helvetica or Georgia. Everything is a little too pleasant, a little too nice, that I personally find kinda creepy.

The solution? Being a jerk!

I want interfaces to treat us like people, not overly-positive automatons that have to hear songs and watch confetti rain from the sky at every step of a checkout flow. Sometimes it’s okay to be a bit rude and weird for fun.

Also check out that lil animated pencil that Chris Jennings made for the post. Not only is Chris the best manager I’ve ever had, he’s also a fantastic animator and designer, too.

I gotta spend some time and play around with 3D one day...




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