What is UX writing?
UX writing is the art of crafting the texts that appear throughout the interface of digital products (websites, mobile apps, etc.). Just as in the world of traditional publishing, this text is referred to as copy. But UX writing differs from copywriting in that it aims to guide the user through the interface in an intuitive manner.
As the apps and websites that we use become increasingly complex, the need for clear guidance within them also grows. But more than that, as these digital products become more a part of our daily lives, we as users seek out those that give us the most natural and fluid experience. These changes in the way we interact with technology have led to the creation of UX writing as a discipline in its own right.
What does a UX writer actually do?
On the surface, UX writers craft the copy found throughout a digital product. This includes the text on buttons, menus, error messages, and more. We call these small pieces of text microcopy. In a more general sense, UX writers are tasked with delivering the messaging of the product from the inside out. To do this effectively, they must acquire a deep and thorough understanding of the user and often conduct UX research.
Many UX writers are former or current copywriters. But whereas a copywriter’s job is to help sell a product, a UX writer does more than that. They must give value to users by crafting an experience that will improve their daily lives.
The UX writer’s job to guide the user through the digital experience in an intuitive manner, building a bridge between the user’s needs and the company’s goals.
But UX writers don’t spend the entire day writing microcopy. They also help create the brand or product voice and make sure all content creators in the organization can easily understand and use that voice. To do this, UX writers create a content style guide—a company-wide document outlining the writing principles and guidelines for the copy and content of a company’s products.
Finally, in a more philosophical sense, UX writers must fight for their users. So whenever a designer, developer, or product manager suggests something that might be unclear to the user, the UX writer must stand up and say how that feature, task, or project can and should be communicated more clearly.
What You Need to Become an Excellent UX Writer
As a UX writer, you’ll need to be your target audience’s closest friend. This means you must know them deeply, including how they talk, what they want to see, and the specific way they react to words.
This will help you craft the right content to guide them through your (or your client’s) product.
2. The Willingness to Work Closely with Others in a Team
UX writers don’t work alone. They collaborate closely with project managers, developers, technical writers, and designers to give users a flawless, enjoyable experience.
3. A Curious Mind
A UX writer’s day is filled with questions. What will work? What won’t? How can I put a smile on users’ faces as they use a product?
Only a curious mind will keep you asking the tons of questions you need to perfect UX writing.
A close-minded person who’s always 100% sure of his/her opinion won’t thrive in the fluid, changeful world of UX writing.
As a UX writer, you’ll have to translate business-centric jargon into friendly, attractive words. A spark of creativity will make it feel effortless.