It’s your call, and your job to know. is an increasingly recognizable job title, and many large corporations Learn how to use words as a tool to design great user experiences YT. They create end-to-end user experiences for teams of … A user interface is where a person (the user) and a computer work together to get something done. Clear, concise and useful from start to finish, with tons of insights for UX writers. If you love efficient well-constructed dialog, understand that all copy is also relationship-building, and notice when interfaces are hard to use, then you have good instincts. Because it exists in the context of software, UX writing has unique constraints. a product. It’s a well-known The UX writer clarity, you should always remove any industry-specific terms and jargon. The user has committed to becoming a customer by purchasing the product, or might still be researching by signing up for a free trial. The Beginner’s Guide to Information Architecture in UX, A Guide to Different Types of Website Structures, Forging a New Path for Disabled Design: An Interview with Liz Jackson. must embody the voice of the organization. UX Writer is more common in the US, while Content Designer is more common in the UK and Australia. Good UX writing not only makes interfaces — Jason Fried (@jasonfried) November 13, 2013. Everybody wants their writing to be concise and clear. It’s often defined by the steps in a user journey. And as always, ruthlessly edit everything. UX writing is a subspecialty of content strategy. Work with designers and developers, starting at an early stage of production A practical video course based on the Microcopy book! People are likely to read the text in your interface many times, and And as we see deeper integration with technology in our daily lives, When you’re brainstorming and reviewing UX copy — i.e. desktop app do not necessarily work on mobile platforms. Whereas a marketing copywriter joins a project when the team has an existing product and wants to promote it on the market, UX writers are involved in the design process from the very beginning. To write well about any product, you’ll need to know what that product does for your users, how it makes their lives better (not the same as “how it works”). Often, the words used are software problems and not people problems. Salaries range broadly depending on geographic location and company size. It's text that explains what features do, and tells a user what action will occur by interacting with that element. But in order to build trust, the copy Ideally, your writing will reinforce your product’s unique value proposition (the most important benefit your product offers to users that they can’t easily find somewhere else). The company and product material has convinced them that this solution is the best for them. Another quick clarification of terms: UX Writer and Content Designer are two terms for people who essentially do the same job. All In this Pinterest screen, for example, users could first check off the names of all the people they want to add. Recently, writing copy for digital Your copy can be broken up into bulleted lists or you can have each sentence be a max of 80 characters. As every article ever written on the subject will tell you, good microcopy is clear, concise and most importantly, useful: Clear - UX copy should be simple and easy to understand at a glance. The report also notes that good experiences lead to an increased likelihood for future sales. Writing texts on such notifications used to be the job of whoever could write best in the office. Friction and frustration make people leave the app or site, abandon the cart, or go buy from your competitor. That’s why everything from the smallest Without that connection, the user can become lost and leave your product for a competitor who can help them. Here’s some simple rules that you can follow to achieve both clarity and concision in the next thing you write — and a warning about when being concise is a bad idea. Few things will annoy a user more than complicated instructions or sprawling sentence structure. UI text (UI = interface text delivered via screens or voice while using the product), UX copy (UX = text for any part of the user experience, including marketing and support copy), Copy (more common in marketing contexts as is the term “copywriting”), Comprehensive content audits for any type of company content, Detailed documentation laying out content types and definitions for a content management system (CMS) or database, A detailed schematic showing which content resides in which corporate repositories and how content flows between them, A taxonomy of preferred terms to use for internal or external writing, Works with product teams to find written and visual narrative design solutions, Collaborates with marketing, design, and development teams from the project’s outset, Represents the user’s needs to product managers, designers, and developers, Adheres to the team’s development process (like agile or kanban), workflows, and delivery methods, Uses the same tools as designers and developers, Partners in usability and marketing research, Collaborates across the entire team (marketing, product management, leadership) to improve copywriting and communication, Partners with a content strategist to ensure the effectiveness, appropriateness and proper governance of overall language, Teaches and empowers others to write amazing copy. You’ll want to show samples that are concise and user-focused. believe me, it’s worth it. A verb is an action word, it tends to be the most powerful part of your sentence. deliver the message. The answer is often YES to all these and more. As you can probably guess, UX writers are responsible for creating useful, meaningful text that help users complete tasks at hand. size of the screen and the way people comprehend the information on a digital A strong command of spelling, mechanics, and grammar, A willingness to compromise with teammates, The drive to keep up with the fast pace of technology and design, As a hiring manager at Google, Bobbie Wood says the biggest gap she saw was in design skills and specific knowledge of the UX writer’s role. hunt for good UX writers. UX Writers craft clear, concise copy and interface text for products and web experiences. Then they could click a single Invite button at the bottom of the screen instead of clicking Invite many times for each contact added. Writing clear and engaging content for customers across multiple platforms. The primary goal of UX writing is to guide users to complete tasks in any digital product. UX writers think how the language Push back on the process and find out what information you need to collect. What’s easy? For this reason, it’s Use imagery to show off your previous UX projects and accomplishments. We're a design-focused product company. read the first line, the second line, then start skipping down the page while Imagine a person needs to solve a problem. UX writer’s job to craft the right copy. Writing the copy of the UI design is both an art and a science. the need for UX But In larger companies, roles are typically more specialized. Copyright © 2019-2020 Adobe. Human beings are incredibly visual The good news: you can expect to make a competitive, sustainable salary extending well into six figures for senior writers. UX writing needs to be simple, clear, and consistent throughout. parts of your products should give users a feeling that they were written by Learn about the role IA plays in the UX design process here. The product must engage them with clear, concise, and delightful copy. brains. Add your email address to stay on top of updates from the UX Writers Collective. If you’re transitioning from those fields, be sure to emphasize your knowledge of the difference. the same person, even though many different people prepared the copy. But they are not independent specialists; they are full-fledged members of the product team. Maybe in a startup or agency, but larger companies may have their own UX writers. Your list of skills must include knowledge of software design and user experience. One typical example of inconsistency (If that doesn’t make sense yet, hang in there. Products failed. Guidelines for each one of the buttons and interface components in an application keep the experience predictable and consistent for the user. powerful force. more usable but it also builds trust. The terms we use when describing the interaction with a Learn to write clear, concise language for critical UI components … we’ll take a detailed look at the role of the UX writer and explore basic UX writing It’s an emerging field, with the number of job listings increasing every day. (You’re enrolled in this course so you’re on your way to addressing that gap.). important concepts first. Your job as a UX writer is important—it directly impacts customer goodwill and the company’s bottom line. Let’s think about an example of a complex task like filing taxes in TurboTax. And stick to your brand principles to bring your product to life. UX writers are interaction designers for words. They’re probably talking to friends, imagining what kind of product would work best for them, and searching the web for answers and ideas. The Your users shouldn’t need to spend additional brain calories fumbling through your intention. Remember to lead with benefits, not features or tasks. We spend a lot of time crafting minute details in our interfaces, and we believe the same level of detail matters in the words we use. UX writing exists their desired actions. The insights from UX writers can have a tremendous impact on different aspects of a future product, including information architecture (IA). Different writers will handle product marketing writing and customer support writing, for example. They understood exactly what users needed to know at just the right moment to move through a screen or complete a task. They might also ask for word-of-mouth recommendations from friends. While it’s impossible to provide universal rules for writing UI text, it’s possible to provide some general rules to follow. Depending on the size of the company, the work might fall to just one writer or might be divided across multiple teams. The main focus of UX Writing is on the prospective user and his experience while navigating the page. And it’s your goal as a designer to design this conversation In this article, You’ll also need to understand exactly how the product works so you can teach users the best way to use it. Since their goal is to ensure that the product layout and copy work harmoniously together, they typically accompany user research sessions. Get started in UX writing. When we talk about user experience, what do we really mean? Also, remember that humor in one culture surprised at the time and effort it takes to write effective UI text. It’s also the voice you hear when you’re talking to Amazon’s Alexa or your Google Assistant. Just like this article is divided into sections and paragraphs, the long copy on your website or app should have a similar structure. The conversation runs through the entire user experience. Now that UX writing has emerged, users see more clear and concise copy. It’s discussed in detail in this lesson.). Read your product's words out loud to make sure they are clear, concise, and practical. microcopy (labels for buttons, menu options, error messages) and macrocopy For complex or difficult tasks, you’ll need to break down all the steps in the process so users can easily follow along. Alrighty, we’ve got our terms defined. Marketing copywriters are But concise Or, one UX writing team might focus on the user interface for the mobile app, and another team might focus on the desktop experience. If an app is confusing or lacks proper guidance, that’s called friction. incorrect, the user will have a bad user experience. What tone of voice is most likely to resonate with their user. UX Writing: Gentle and Human. The concept of UX writing is firmly rooted in a casual, conversational, and naturally occurring human interaction-based language, which makes an app appealing to use. After researching, the user becomes aware of different product options. Below is an example that helps users  find specific information. information. all the words in your product interface — ask yourself if each message is useful, necessary, well-timed, clear, concise, and consistent. Three UX Writing Best Practices 1. No part of UI, do not call it “Booking” in other parts of your UI. Try taking extra care to make this content clear, engaging, and concise. So what do UX writers actually do? UX writing exists in the context of digital products, and it has unique constraints. Get XD Ideas delivered weekly to your inbox. UX writers, especially freelancers and those working on small teams, are often responsible for writing every instance of a product’s interface copy. The first three rules—be clear, be concise, and be useful —are often called the holy trinity of UX writing. It will show users how to do all those great things the marketing copy promised, and explain benefits in an irresistible way. It supplements the copy and provides additional Using a consistent voice and tone helps users understand what to expect, and even enjoy the product as they use it. catching only the first or second word of each sentence. Also, avoid long blocks of text. The copy in our product impacts our users’ experience in a big way. It’s the place where you (the user) and the computer (interface) meet and interact. For each scenario, I've gone further to explore the next step(s) in the user journey, and how it can value-add to the user experience. UX writing is the practice of designing the In some contexts, it might be hard (or nearly impossible) to describe For example, if you It clarifies uncertainties and reduces anxiety. Clear. They are also called Product Writers, Digital Copywriters, Content Designers, or UX Content Strategists. Both the size of the screen and the way people comprehend the information on a digital space (people scan, not read) affect the copy. They need instructions and a dose of reassurance. Use language that’s consistent with the They keep it absolutely simple by asking (and explaining) only one question at a time. Mid-to-senior-level writers might also create text for chatbots and other voice-based interactions. In the early days of software development, graphic designers or software engineers wrote this text. Bad experiences result in more negative word-of-mouth sharing. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”. UX writing needs to be Consider the UX writer your first customer. After buying, these are all the additional stages while using the product. words people see when they interact with software. It’s an impressive growth trajectory. What kind of impression do you want to make? you choose to use humor in error messages). UX writers are interaction designers for words. Try to write for all reading levels. If the product meets the user’s needs, this part of the journey would last a long time. Content strategy deliverables can include: A comprehensive content strategy might encompass all communications with corporate partners, industry analysts, and journalists, not only product users. In this course, An ideal microcopy should be clear, concise, ... UX writing acts as a helping hand here by guiding users on each step and explaining to them everything that needs to be explained — thereby expediting their learning process. Friction is anything that makes tasks harder or makes people feel confused, frustrated, and less likely to continue using the product. Not surprisingly, the product design field puts a lot of If you don’t have that background, consider taking a user experience design immersive course so you understand the terms and the processes. In a larger content strategy, you would partner with product management, marketing, and support to identify your audience segments, and then tailor your brand voice, your images, your messaging, and your product content to appeal to those audiences. Ideally, it should be simple enough for people to interact with intuitively and without realizing they’ve been guided in any particular direction. When we are writing They work on product design teams and collaborate with product managers, front-end developers, and UX researchers. HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR UX WRITERS 1. The fundamental job of the UX Writer is to help users understand the why and the how at each step of a task so that it feels simple and uncomplicated. You’ll need to advocate for succinct writing as if it’s part of your DNA. Every step of that decision process is part of what designers call “a user journey.” A sales funnel (one part of the user journey) might look like this: In this stage of the journey, a person (the user) is searching for a solution to a problem. It’s the screens on mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. We know that The more you understand about your product and how it works, the easier your job will be—and the more you’ll be able to advocate for users. understand who they are writing for and what they need when they interact with User experience is a broad term that includes all the marketing text, visuals, instructions, actions, tasks, and help content a person sees (or experiences) when using a specific product. It’s all the boxes you fill in and the buttons you click or tap when you’re using any software product or website app. Users were frustrated. If you have to deliver a lot of content for your users, it’s better to reveal any details as needed. Collaborate on the design and suggest things like adding helpful sub-heads. That’s where imagery can support UX writers to UX Writing. (information messages and invitations, text on confirmation pages). Try using before and afters to show off your skills at simplifying writi… Alt text: GIF of Michael Scott from The Office saying “Why don’t you … user experience, it’s no longer enough to treat copy as an afterthought. We need to say ‘tap’ instead. creatures. Replace such terms with simple words. A verb is an action word, it tends to be the most powerful part of your sentence. Remember to curate your UX writing portfolio with the end users in mind: think of potential employers as you would another user. UX writing is nuanced compared to journalism or academic writing. we read or hear when we use a digital product. Writing clear, concise UX content in-line with established guidelines and patterns. Since user experience writing operates within the context of a larger content strategy, it has to follow the overarching guidelines of that strategy. As a result, copy should be concise and yet communicate the meaning effectively. We’ll take a look at how UX writing evolved as a new design discipline, how to break into the field, who writers typically work with, and how they contribute to the product design process. Words are a All rights reserved. Now that UX writing has entered the arena, users are seeing more clear, concise, and memorable copy. Lindsay is a social strategist at Adobe, focused on XD. Ideally, UX writers would write UX copy and marketers would write marketing microcopy, but a clear division of duties between the two roles isn’t always possible in the real world. concisely, we look at our message and make sure every word on the screen has Clear. Every word in your product is part of a conversation A subtle improvement, but important for ease-of-use. they want to make sure that the user experience is as smooth as possible. It must answer their questions and guide them through tasks. There must be hundreds of questions TurboTax must ask its users. UX writing is a serious discipline, and major companies take it seriously. concise and yet communicate the meaning effectively. Copy should be doesn’t necessarily translate well to other cultures. It’s essential to distinguish a UX writer from a marketing writer. Working methods, best practices, tips and tricks, Unique insights, design stories, the impact of design, Industry leaders shaping the future of design. writing. If you’re transitioning from another writing-focused career here are some tips to get you started. internationalized across linguistic, geographical, and cultural boundaries. UX writing is a specialized form of writing because of its context (software) and the environment in which it’s produced (technology companies). The small piece of copy at the bottom provides some good context. When it comes to designing a first-class As a result, copy should be Just check out how much value Google puts on UX writing in this video from Bobbie’s 2017 Google colleagues, Maggie Stanphill, Alison Rung, and Juliana Appenrodt: We look critically at screen designs and flows and think about how they might be easier for users to understand. But UX writing differs from copywriting in that it aims to guide the user through the interface in an intuitive manner. It often has to be extremely concise and yet communicate a lot of meaning at the same time. doesn’t mean short; it means something closer to efficient. In a perfect world it will relate to some action to the user. That’s why it’s essential to use simple and direct language because not only Involve us early. Along with designers and developers, a UX writer works to shape product experiences. ensure that the copy is consistent across all products and interfaces. First use is often called Onboarding and typically involves a brief, benefits-focused product tour. This first unit will cover the who, what, how, and why of the UX Writer’s role. people’s eyes follow an F shaped pattern as they read over the screen. The design Lesson 2: What a UX Writer Actually Writes, Lesson 3: Responsibilities of a UX Writer. Users need to understand what a product can do for them and how to do it. They work on product design teams and collaborate with product managers, front-end developers, and UX researchers. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your Here are some of the activities a UX Writer typically takes on, in no particular order: The chances are good that your co-workers will want to work closely with you and learn from you. the product. It’s better to remove any potential clutter, any information that Creative Strategy To be honest, I love this stuff. Read our guide and learn when to use…, Liz Jackson is the founder and chief advocacy officer of The Disabled List, a disability self-advocacy organization creating…, Everywhere you look, designers are rolling up their sleeves, looking for ways to use their skills to impact…. focus on polishing both pixels and copy. Provide text in chunks—easily scannable segments of text that focus on a limited number of concepts at a time. Depending on the needs of the company and the team, the specific types of writing will vary. A maker at heart, Lindsay almost always has a creative project on the go. UX writing is essential to how your users experience your product, but it is a simple thing to get right. Learn what UX writing is, why it’s important, and how UX writers work on a design team. The text should be useful for the user—it should help people get user interface is; if the copy is confusing, misleading, or grammatically This conversation is the core of UX writing. UX writing is interface copy. Now that you know a little about the role, let’s learn more about what UX Writers do day-to-day. Writing managers and leads can make $150-300K in large corporate environments. customers. Three UX Writing Best Practices 1. This more nebulous phase of use involves building customer loyalty to ensure positive word-of-mouth recommendations, introducing users to new features that (hopefully) improve their experience, and fun or profitable motivations offered to customers to bring in even more users (like a program offering one-month free service if you invite 3 friends). But what is a UX Writer’s most important job? Communicate ideas and collaborate with Design, Product, and Business teams to gather new insights, establish the connective language, and build common understanding.