I first stumbled on the term UX Writing last year and even though it sounded cheesy, I was fascinated by it and wanted to understand the inner workings of what it means to write specifically for User Experience. So, I started digging into it – turns out its a mixture of something that I already do as a Copywriter and a huge spoonful of an aspect that I wasn’t doing before.
UX Writing is copywriting for user-facing touch points. According to Lisa Sanchez co-founder of Should We Studios, “UX Writing is the practice of designing the words people see when they interact with software. It’s about designing the conversation between a product and its user.”
You know those words you encounter as you use a software that prompts, nudges and guides you along in your journey on app/software you are using – that’s UX writing. The crux of UX writing is to facilitate seamless communication between users and the digital products they are using.
As Freelance FinTech Writer Laurah Mwirichia explains in this post on Prototypr, “Users desire more than just pretty colors and nice pictures on their screen. They want more than just functionality and usability. Users want to be understood, and the only way to understand is by having a conversation.”
Then she goes on to drill in the importance of understanding UX Writing “Keep in mind that the copy is often the most human part of the entire interaction with your product. It’s the part where the site or the app is speaking to the user, answering their questions, giving them feedback and prompting them to take action.”
Laurah Mwirichia’s explanation is one of my favourite breakdowns on UX Writing.
But we’ve been doing fine with plain old copywriting you say, you guys just like coming up with new terms, you say again.
Well, copywriting speaks to the broad Marketing and Branding aspect of a Product or Business. UX writing is the cozy conversation your product has with each user as they come in contact with it.
Why is UX Writing Critical
As we build more and more digital products globally, we need these products to be easily understood and used. It shouldn’t be hard for users and consumers to use a software without thinking too much about the next steps to take.
Even when too many words aren’t directly used in an interface, the pointers provided via UX writing are essential to the product. We will always need microcopy like buttons and menu copy, error messages, security notes, terms and conditions, as well as any kind of information on product usage.
A Product is as good as how it is communicated. So, you can’t afford to sleep on UX writing or your users will get lost, become weary and start dropping off at some point in their Usage journey.
Also like Tubik Studio shared in this post on UX Planet, “One of the first reasons leading to UX writing appearance is growing attention to the role of copy in UI. Marketing and design specialists have agreed that copy content is a significant element influencing both UI and UX. Bad-written copy can ruin even a really good-looking user interface. As for the microcopy, various user tests have shown that it affects user experience as well as the information architecture and navigation system do.”