The Verbatim effect means that “the gist of what someone has said, is better remembered than the verbatim wording”.
I like this effect, it’s so human. We don’t really listen, we just take a guess at what something means. UX designers should always be aware of this effect, because it explains why so many of our well-crafted designs fail.
Let’s face it: designers know too much. When we’re on the job, we talk about user goals, business goals, available data, technical difficulties and each task that a user should be able to perform. We talk about this over and over again with experts and stakeholders. Once we’ve completed a design, we’re the most experienced users you can imagine.
So it can come as quite a shock to see how customers in the real world use such a well-crafted design: they don’t do what they’re supposed to do. They don’t read, they just take a hunch and start clicking!
So as a UX designer, be aware of the verbatim effect. People are quite good at guessing what you’re trying to say, but it’s a lot harder for them to guess what you’ve designed.