What Is UX Writing: All You Need to Know

what-is-ux-writing

People are now searching “what is UX writing”. Is it important for your business?  

Yes, especially when you own a business on a digital platform either website or application. And, the majority of people right now do market themselves on the website. They mostly count on SEO to be the number one on search engines. But, people go a step further by integrating UX writing too. It then makes the question of “what is UX writing” appear in a lot of online forums and face-to-face discussions.  

What is UX writing? 

User experience (UX) writing is the practice of communicating the words to make the users move smoothly when completing tasks.  

The UX writers work on designing a “conversation” with useful, concise, and clear sentences. By these requirements, UX writing must be jargon-free and offers context, economical, and leads users to the next action. It is because the purpose of UX writing is to assist users while navigating a product.  

So, what is the UX writing example? 

“Find music you love” sounds more effective and friendly.

  • When you look for songs in Spotify, instead of writing “Search Spotify”, the UX writers will choose a sentence “Find music you love”. The latter sounds more clear and friendly, right?  
  • You can also see this type of content writing when logging in with your email. When you enter the wrong password, you most of the time encounter a pop-up notification, right? It may state “An authentication error has occurred”. However, this is the wrong example.  

First, UX writing should use the present tense. Second, after you see that statement, what would you do? There is no direction to the next action. Therefore, a good UX writer will write, “Wrong Password” with options “Try again” and “Recover password”.  It is clear, brief, and helps users to finish their log-in process.  

What makes UX writing different from other types of writing 

Unlike blog post or white papers that demand in-depth content, UX writing must be concise, but it is able to communicate a lot. You also must think about the linguistic and cultural boundaries of international users. So, writing an easily translatable language is crucial. 

When it comes to answering “what is UX writing”, it has to be based on context and the platform used. As a result, you cannot separate UX writer and designer. They work hand in hand because they are responsible to provide a display that is user-friendly and appealing in users’ eyes. 

UX writing process  

1. Collect the information 

The UX writing project starts with urgent questions like what the project is about, when the due date, also what the business and design implications are. This first step in the UX writing process is essential to get the big picture of what you will be working on. 

2. Collaborate with other teams involved  

To gather more context, it is time for collaboration! Gather other all-important teams in the project such as developers, designers, and even the product managers. The meeting aims to gather information about customer expectations and reviews also competitions such as Lyft vs Uber.  

3. Analyze the documents  

After accumulating the information, analyze the documents to make a great UX writing. This is also to compare what the customer reviews and competitors say about the product.  

In this case, connect it with the brand voice. For example, Lyft is more playful, so it uses “Just me” and “Me + 1 friend” to confirm the number of passengers. Meanwhile, Uber is more minimalist by using numbers 1 and 2 to make sure the seats.  

Lyft is playful
Uber is more minimalist.

4. Create and explore  

When you start the project, you may still get a vague impression of what the writing will result in. However, at this stage, you have a clear projection of what the UX writing is. Explore ideas and write some options. Consider the clarity, usefulness, and conciseness. 

Some companies make UX writers wait for the mockup or prototype from designers. But, it can take time, so write it first on a Google doc or paper. You just have to copy the work once they eventually finish the design.  

5. Review  

There are several review processes you must pass.  

  • Internal review 
    First, do a self-review about the comprehension, grammatical structure, and functional accuracy. Then, do a peer review with other teams to get their perspective. Lastly, check the writing with the product managers if there is something you have missed. 
  • External review  
    Invite marketers, sales, and engineers to get feedback from them. Because they are “commoners”, they usually can be objective to measure the writing like what users do.  

The last step is to incorporate the internal and external review, then your writing is finally ready to be included in the development process.  

What does a UX writer do?  

You have understood the UX writing process above. They build comprehensive documentation, apply the communication strategy between the product and users, arrange a step-by-step scheme with developers and designers.  

But, what kind of items that UX writer creates?  

  • First-time use text  
  • Instruction text 
  • Error notifications  
  • In-product marketing, such as a full-screen pop up when you get a discount  
  • Tooltips and contextual help 
  • Metadata  
  • Form lists  
  • Terms and conditions 

How to become a UX writer 

At first, UX designers are more on-demand, but the UX writer is rising and evolving into the specialist profession in a design team. So, many people see the huge potential in this field. Based on Glassdoor, you can get an average base pay of 85,277 USD per year! Even the UX designer at IBM gets 102,133 USD per year.  

If you are interested in becoming a UX writer, you must have the designer’s mindset. Even though UX writing is mainly part of content strategy, you also entirely should understand UX research and design. Since there will be tons of reviews and feedbacks from designers, product managers, or even the stakeholders, your interpersonal skills must support this responsibility.  

This article aims to answer your question of “what is UX writing”. You also know a glimpse of how a UX writer works and how much you can get as a UX writer. Are you interested in this field?