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UX Writing Guide to Build Better Product Experiences

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

A perfect product experience still remains an enigma for a lot of professionals. My experience with digital products and time spent working on them have convinced me that UX writing is a critical yet extremely neglected component of product development.

As a result, we often find our users puzzled and frustrated while interacting with these digital products. This is not due to users not being tech-savvy or dumb, but due to ignored or poor UX writing. The fact is you can do wonders for your finished product by combining effective UX writing and other essential aspects of product planning and development.

But the question is how? In this blog, you'll find answers to all your questions and be guided on a journey to build better products through UX writing. Before we deep dive into the nuances, let's get our basics clear.

What is UX Writing?

UX writing by definition is referred to as the process of researching, curating, drafting, and testing the content that appears on the user interface of digital products. Precisely, UX writing is the art of humanizing products in a digital interface.

Often misunderstood with marketing copywriting that utilizes fancy words and catchy phrases to attract customers, the purpose of UX writing is to serve as a subtle guide for users that is often unnoticeable.

Several major companies have spent millions hiring UX writers with the right skill set because they understand and value the significance of a UX writer in the product development process.

With a clearer understanding of UX writing, let's begin our journey into how it helps us shape better products.

Pay Attention to User's Emotions

As UX writers aka content designers, our job is not to fill spaces with words but to ensure these words resonate with the emotions of the users. A typical user that visits your product or website goes through a roller coaster of emotions with every click, tap, scroll, and message on the screen. A better product experience is shaped by understanding these emotions, plotting them down, and writing copy that resonates with the user.

Let's take a look at a few examples to understand this in more detail:

Here's how SEMRUSH breaks down the user emotions, crafts copy that reverberates with the emotion, and solves the user problem.

  1. The message is clear, concise, and easy to understand. However, after a user reads this message they are probably frustrated, and irritated and expect a solution to the problem.

  2. The second part shows potential solutions listed in an organized and clear format with examples.

Rather than just pointing out the problem, which would add to the anger of the user, it is more important to display potential solutions in a simple manner.

Let's look at another example from on how to be more thoughtful about user emotions and connected actions.

This is an outstanding example of predicting the user's emotions, needs, and behavior. Some users while looking for a hotel might prefer an apartment or an entire home that offers more privacy. Considering this possibility came up with this intuitive pop-up that instantly catches attention and does the job.

Bridge the Gap between Copy and Design

A lot of budding UX writers that are planning to start their career or have just begun working are often shocked to hear that "UX writing is not just writing, but designing".

One of the major skills required to excel as a UX writer is design thinking and ideation.

UX writers actually design content just like UX designers put together user flows. Very often, the process and its connection are distorted leading to an overall poor user experience. A design without copy is just visuals that are incompetent to convey the right message to the user. At the same time, an amazing copy without design will have no existence.

The interconnectedness of design and UX writing makes it imperative for UX writers to have a command of both aspects to create better products. Finding a perfect balance between design and copy that develops a state where both complement each other is what sets your product apart from other products.

Here's a quick rundown on how Spotify does it like an O.G.

Keep your Copy Humanized

During cross-functional team collaborations and partnerships, UX writers tend to hear a lot of jargon that sometimes makes its way into the final copy. This is a common mistake that adds hindrance in the path of creating amazing product experiences.

An app or website user is a human being rather than a computer program that communicates in codes and binary language. Effective UX writing within the interface should be human-friendly, free of jargons and technical terminology. The language should be simple with a tone and voice that defines the communication.

Based on the type of product different tones can be added such as humorous, conversational, professional, casual, etc. The addition of the right tone gives character to language and communication making it more humanized which creates a pleasant product and user experience for the user.

Take a look at this example to learn why humanizing your copy is so important and the dos and don'ts of it.

Final Words

UX writing has emerged as a separate discipline of product development that stands between copywriting and UX design. It is quite evident that ignored or poor UX writing can severely affect the quality and experience of your product.

There is no definition of good UX copy. In fact, as content designers, it is our responsibility to figure out what kind of copy works at what place. Building outstanding product experiences is all about that- finding what works for your product and users. The strategic and effective use of UX writing can make our products not only more appealing to users externally, but also make the world more technologically inclusive.

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