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Kate Toon Uses Balsamiq to Transform The Copywriting Process

Kate ToonI recently returned from the Write the Docs 2016 conference in Portland, where people who write documentation, marketing copy, and more gather to talk about the state of all things documentation.

As a designer and writer, I came back inspired. One of the themes of the conference was how content writing is gaining appreciation as a core piece of the customer experience. Many organizations no longer treat writing as separate from the other visual elements of the user experience (some have even merged it into their design team).

Kate Toon is a web copywriter who embraces this philosophy with Balsamiq Mockups. It allows her clients to see her work in the context of the visual layout and design of their sites. This helps them understand the value of what she does and set expectations for how it will look and feel in the finished product.

Q&A with Kate Toon

What industry do you work in, and what is your title or job description?

I’m a copywriter, information architect and SEO trainer.

What kinds of things are you excited about in your industry?

I enjoy helping clients to create easy to use websites that give their customers an enjoyable seamless web experience. I’m excited by beautiful design and clever, creative copy.

What suggestions do you have for someone looking to succeed in your role or industry?

It’s not just about good quality writing.

As a copywriter, it’s important to understand that it’s not just about good quality writing. A copywriter, especially for the web, needs to be:

  • A great listener, so you can absorb the client’s tone of voice, and understand their goals
  • An awesome project manager, to ensure you guide your clients through the whole process easily and with zero stress
  • An SEO expert, to understand the impact that keyword research, readability and other tech issues can have on the client’s copy
  • A usability guru, understanding mobile-first design, microcopy, site structure, calls to action and so much more

Kate uses Balsamiq Mockups to create a mix of wireframe elements, images, and annotations in one deliverable for her clients.

Why and how do you use Balsamiq Mockups?

Although I try to structure my copy deck in a way that it’s easy for people to work out what goes where, I’ve found that for many people, they just can’t picture how the words on the page will work on the website.

So, especially when I’m writing Home page copy, I’ve started to use Balsamiq.

My clients love it – it transforms the way they see the copywriting process.

Balsamiq helps me lay out the copy and create wireframes for clients, showing how the copy will work on the page. I can highlight header copy, buttons and menus, outline the navigation and plan the footers and sidebars. My clients love it – it transforms the way they see the copywriting process.

I find it makes life easier for the website designers and developers too.

Balsamiq has an easy learning curve. I’m not a huge fan of watching tutorials, so was delighted by how easy it is to get started.

Do you have any feature ideas or suggestions for how we can improve our product(s)?

I’d love your product to incorporate a sitemap function, so I don’t have to use separate software. (Editor's note: We do have this! Check out our documentation on working with site maps.)

I’d also like to be able to save created elements as templates, and then use these templates on other pages. (Check out our Symbols feature, which is even easier in Balsamiq Mockups 3.)

Thanks, Kate, for sharing your insights and process. You're a Champion!

Do you have a story to share about the awesome things you do with Balsamiq? Send an email to with your stories or blog posts!

Leon for the Balsamiq Team

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Comments (2)

  1. This is a great idea. I generally use the tables feature in Google docs to present the copy to clients. It has served me well so far. I can see how Balsamiq transforms the process – with its links, and wireframey looks.

    I love Balsamiq!

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