What exactly does microcontent entail?

Courtney Jordan
2 min readJan 16, 2023


As a content strategist and head of UX and content strategy teams at a B2B SaaS startup, I hear the term microcontent bandied about. I’d initially thought of it as just the text that displays on the UI, such as in-page text, confirmation dialogs, error messages, but the way we defined it was more encompassing. Since there seems to be a lot of wiggle room as to what microcontent entails, I decided to share our definition of microcontent:

  • Onboarding and feature adoption call-outs and guides. This is anything that you add to the product to make people more successful in getting started or in increasing feature usage, such as calling attention to a new or underused feature.
  • Field labels. I don’t include other types of labels here such as column labels in tables or tab names or button labels, because that overlaps with the related area of information architecture.
  • Page-, section-, and field-level help. This help text is generally hidden under a ? near the page or section title, or near the field label. It could also be column-level help.
  • Error and success messages. These are the messages that display after a user performs an action to let them know whether it was successful or not. Error messages, in particular, generally contain links to fix a problem or contain info to point users towards possible resolutions.
  • System status messages. This lets users know if a platform is down unexpectedly, will have an upcoming maintenance window, is down for planned maintenance, needs to be updated or is updating. It could also entail the status of third-party apps that run on a platform.
  • Confirmation dialogs. Confirmation dialogs display when a user has performed an action that usually can’t be undone (at least easily), so you want to make sure that they understand the finality of the action.
  • Text that displays on the UI. This could be text on a free trial form to get people excited about starting a free trial, or in a product, help text that is deemed too important to hide under a ? mark. This could also include things like “1 of 5 results” for the pagination of search results or “5 results matching <search term>”, but that generally is already addressed during the design process.
  • Formatting hints. These could be hints in-field or below the field, such as expected date format. UX tip: You shouldn’t force your user to conform to a date format, if at all possible.

Your own definition of microcontent may vary! Let me know if I’ve missed anything!



Courtney Jordan

Storyteller, process optimizer, relationship builder, stakeholder uniter, experience creator. MS, HCI/AI/UX. Traveling this life w my soulmate and awesome teens