I'm a UX copywriter on an agency design team with a corporate client. I keep on seeing View in their CTAs (other places, too), which is a little formal for our tone. See or some other verb seems better, but when I suggested See, they said they don't use that because of some issue with ADA compliance (the PO didn't articulate exactly what the issue was). Hmm...View is just a synonym of See, and I don't understand why it's an issue. Is this, in fact, an ADA thing? Are the visually impaired having issues with listening to a screen reader say "See"? Or is this more likely someone's interpretation of UX copy/ADA compliance? Any thoughts, experience, wisdom here?

  • View is the traditional verb across decades of business applications and websites. The fact that See might be "better" doesn't really help, unless it is so much better that it provides huge value and justifies changing the tradition. Of course, all IMHO, YMMV, etc. – Steve Jones Apr 3 '18 at 8:59

Microcopy tends to be written in an 'active' form. This ensures you can add direction to each action and makes it very clear what will happen if a user clicks or completes an action. Microcopy is all about clarity. Make sure your audience knows what’s expected of them. You'll also leave less room for interpretation with concise and clear wording, which is a great help for users with screen-readers who don't have other contexts to go with.

This article contains a lot of helpful tips, in particular this passage:

When designing an experience, we want users to take actions towards a particular goal. For this, write microcopy in the active voice, whereby the subject (user or service provider) is always promoted to perform the expressed action. This results in more customer-focused microcopy that is direct, concise and to the point, while the active voice usually requires fewer words to convey an action in comparison to the passive voice.

The same principle applies to viewing and seeing. "To view" something means you take an active role, you're taking a look at something. "To see" something means you are passively involved; it's just happening to you. The words contain a different intent, even if it seems minor. This is also why you will see the use of "Check if" rather than "See if" for bookings. Checking contains the act of commitment, and is therefore a better persuasion word.

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  • 1
    For example, I see lots of things every day (both on screen and in real-life) that I don't really view or pay attention to. One alternative, Show I see as between the two: if I click it, I'm actively asking the UI to show me something, but I'm not necessarily committing (as much as view does) to looking at it. – TripeHound Apr 3 '18 at 12:55

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