It’s time we designers stop thinking of ourselves as merely pixel people, and start thinking of ourselves as the creators of experiences. And when it comes to experience on the web, there’s no better way to create it than to write, and write well.

I say: It’s the writing. The friendliness comes from good old fashioned text. When you visit the site, it welcomes you with a random language. Hola! Salut! Shalom! When you log in, the button says “Get in there“ instead of “Submit.“ When you upload a photo, join a group, add a contact; all of the associated text is open, encouraging, happy, and excited. And it has a significant impact on the overall user experience.

This is not just marketing text (though it’s that, too). It’s interface. This is text that can’t come from the PR department—it comes from us, the designers who are responsible for the user experience. The text is as much a part of the UI as the colors, the pixels, the stuff that designers are usually concerned with. Perhaps more.