58 years have passed since Bob Dylan sang about how the world was evolving. The year 2023 is just getting started, and I think we can all agree that things are changing more quickly than ever. These days, positions like data science manager, solar power consultant, and blockchain developer are taking the place of jobs like mail carrier, travel agent, dispatcher, and lumberjack. But there is one newly emerging position that is expanding quickly and offers both a low barrier to entry and tremendous career possibilities. Interested? Let me give you an overview of UX authoring.
UX writing: What Is It?
Any writing that appears in the user interface, also known as the UI design, of a digital product is known as user experience writing, or UX writing. UX writers utilize straightforward, succinct, and on-brand writing to deliver clear instructions and encourage users to interact with a digital product.
In order to create the most user-friendly product possible, user experience writers, also known as content designers or content strategists, collaborate with UX designers and product managers. When engaging with the interface of a car screen, a smart television, a chatbot, a smartphone app, or any online software, for example, you frequently come across UX writing.
The requirement for clear instructions within the programs and websites we use is growing along with their complexity. In addition, as these digital products grow more pervasive in our lives, we as users look for those that provide us with the most seamless and natural experience. UX writing has emerged as a distinct subject as a result of the changes in how we interact with technology.
What exactly does a UX writer do?
UX writers create the copy that appears on the surface of a digital product. This applies to any text, such as that on menus, error notices, and buttons. These brief texts are referred to as microcopy.
In a broader sense, UX writers are responsible for conveying the product's messaging via all of its interfaces, from emails and product pages to button copy and push alerts.
They must do UX research frequently and gain a profound understanding of the user to accomplish this effectively.
Many UX writers have worked as copywriters or still do. However, a UX writer's duties go beyond simply aiding in product sales, as opposed to those of a copywriter. By designing an experience that would enhance users' daily lives, they must provide consumers with value. Do you recall when software used to include a manual? Believe me, it did.
These days, the app itself contains the "manual." Because of this, it is the UX writer's responsibility to provide an intuitive path for the user through the digital experience, bridging their demands with those of the business.
The majority of the day is not, however, spent writing microcopy by UX writers. Additionally, they ensure that all content producers within the company may easily access the brand or product voice and use it with understanding.
To do this, UX writers develop a "content style guide," a corporate document that outlines the standards and principles for writing the text and content of a company's products.
Finally, UX writers need to stand up for their users in a more philosophical sense. Therefore, the UX writer must speak up if a designer, developer, or product manager recommends a feature, task, or project that the user might find confusing and explain how it can and should be expressed more clearly.
Having a UX writer is similar to getting your first smartphone in the realm of product design; you didn't realize how important they were until you had the chance to work with one who was competent.
What Distinguishes Copywriting from UX Writing?
While both UX writers and copywriters create on-brand copy that speaks to a specific target audience, there are some key distinctions between the two professions.
- Effective UX writing uses the user interface to engage the user in a conversation with a product or brand rather than simply delivering a story. In order to achieve corporate objectives and build brand affinity between consumers and products, copywriters use stories.
- Collaborators: To develop the brand voice and convey how a product might affect a consumer's life, copywriters are more likely to collaborate with marketers and sales representatives. To guarantee that the UX writing seamlessly melds with the product's design and use, UX writers are more likely to collaborate with design and product teams.
- Product-oriented vs. sales-oriented: The goal of the field is to make it simple for a customer base to interact with the product, even if specific UX writing helps sales. The brand's message is communicated by copywriters through external marketing text, which may be used to persuade customers to buy a product.
What Tasks Are Assigned to a UX Writer?
A user experience (UX) writer is in charge of creating all of the content and microcopy for a digital product's user interface (UI), which aids users in navigating their interactions. These writers are in charge of writing the following types of UX text:
- Microcopy: The small text that appears on user interface buttons or drop-down menus and is typically one word in length is referred to as microcopy.
- UX writers are in charge of crafting any material that informs users of a broken link or internal problem.
- Using brief, casual notification language to alert users to things like new messages, new connections, or any changes to their account is the responsibility of UX writers.
- Guides: UX writers provide text for manuals that new employees are given when they start working for a company.
- Conversations with chatbots: UX writers are in charge of crafting any automated speech for customer support chatbots. The copy for digital assistants is also written by them.
The function of UX writers in global product teams
Are you shocked that such a position exists? Until recently, many businesses were similar. However, businesses that have the foresight to recognize the value of the UX writer, including Wix, Booking, and Google, are prospering.
Due in large part to the impact that UX writers have had on those products, these businesses offer their customers products that make their lives easier.
For instance, Booking.com employs a UX writer for every five to six designers. Oracle, in comparison, has a ratio that is close to 100:1, and as a result, their product suffers.
We can still compare their sign-up forms despite the fact that they are for very different kinds of items.
Dropout rates rise as there are more fields. In order to register users, UX teams (which include writers) must design user-friendly methods that take advantage of current technologies (e.g., using Facebook or Google accounts).
More and more jobs for UX writers are being created and filled as businesses recognize the value of having a dedicated UX writer as a member of the product team. For instance, in less than a year, Booking.com increased its UX writer count from 20 to 60, and Wix has a writing guild with roughly the same number of full-time authors.
A lot of other businesses are coming to the conclusion that having a single writer on the product team and a few in the marketing division is insufficient. UX writers are being hired at an exponentially increasing rate as a result.
4 Advice for Aspiring UX Writers
Here are some pointers to help you get hired as a UX writer:
- Attend a course. Because they play a significant role in creating the customer experience, UX writers should be familiar with software and user experience design. If this is brand-new to you, think about enrolling in a UX writing or UX design school to master the fundamentals of the industry.
- Recognize the role. Some people could approach applying for UX writing positions in the same manner they would for copywriting jobs. While UX writing directs the experience, copywriting is concerned with promoting a product. In your job application, be sure to demonstrate your familiarity with the distinctions and your knowledge of the particulars of UX writing.
- Put together a portfolio. Highlight writing pieces from your user-focused portfolio, whether they are examples of traditional UX writing or something different. Gather a range of examples that illustrate various styles of user-focused copy. These might include chatbot messaging, setup instructions, or notifications.
- Work on being succinct. A UX writer must be able to convey user-friendly content quickly and effectively. Write single-word button labels as practice.
There is never a better moment than the present to start a career as a UX writer. A significant change in the UX sector may be seen in the addition of a professional UX writer to product teams. As more and more businesses need writers, starting now as a UX writer means you'll have seniority in the years to come.
Do not let this deter you; there is still a long way to go before technology companies start to regard writers equally to designers. Consider this an opportunity to begin a demanding and fulfilling new profession rather than a problem.