Imagine for a second that you want to sell your digital product or service to a friend. In that sense, take a few seconds to think about how you would describe it, what the story behind your product/service is, what the benefits are, in which tone you would explain it, how you would answer possible questions of your “prospect client”…
Well, what you’ve been doing for a moment is the job of a UX Writer.
Let’s dig deep into this!
What’s the magic behind words?
UX Writing is the practice of designing the story, the tone, the expressions, and the very words that users see on the screen whenever they interact with any digital product or service. UX Writers, the professionals in charge of this department, are the defenders of the voice of your brand and product/service. It may sound romantic and even poetic, but having someone to craft that voice and to empathize with your audience can definitely tip the scale in your favor.
In the long run, a digital product or service that people can relate to and that they can easily make use of will pay back in much greater ways than money… It has to do with reputation, with trust, and such intangibles aspects that will surely make your brand stand out from the crowd.
Wait, but isn’t that copywriting?
Well, that’s a very common doubt indeed, and the answer is no, it’s not. Copywriting focuses on selling and works hand in hand with Marketing. On the other hand, UX Writing (UXW) focuses on providing a coherent, cohesive and useful User Experience along the way- from the very first touchpoint- be it a push or an email- to onboardings, landings, and so on.
UXW pros sit at the table with product & UX designers, researchers and leaders in order to come up with the best alternative of action as a team, each person being responsible for a certain aspect of the product or service.
Not only does UXW work with consumer-facing pieces, but also It provides the structure to brand resources such as Voice & Tone Guidelines, Controlled Vocabulary, and similar tools that are much more brand-related and placed at the core of the communication.
What can we learn from UXW?
UXW teaches us that every content should be:
- Functional: Content should have a goal, a reason why, and should help solve a need or problem.
- Clear: Short, straight-forward, down to the point.
- Enjoyable & motivating: It has to do with mirroring with the audience and generating an uplifting feeling when it’s good news or just providing empathy when we’re dealing with sensitive issues.
UXW First Aid Kit
Professionals in the UXW field resort to a few tools in their everyday tasks. It could be useful to take a look at them and see whether they fit into your work dynamics so as to take as much advantage as you can from this practice:
- The brief: the holy grail for UX writers. This document embodies every aspect of the pieces in each project- from business & communication goals to key messages, target analysis, moods, and the tones chosen to modify them, texts themselves, iterations and translations, and so on.
- Stylebook: It could be defined as a depository of good practices when it comes to brand communication. Not only should you have a visual guideline for your digital product/service, but also a Tone & Voice Guideline (the stylebook) in which you decide how your brand will speak to the audience, what words it will use and how it will express itself in a wide array of situations.
- Content prototype: If we consider UXW as the practice of telling the story behind your product or service, the Content Prototype comes out as the written first stage of this story. It’s the outline, a rough copy of how the interactions between the user and your product will be. There are plenty of ways to carry out a Content Prototype, but the cheapest and easiest one is to imagine and write a dialogue between a person (your audience) and the product. This way, you will be able to take a look at the different touchpoints and reinforce certain values and moods along the way.
No wonder why words have always played such a crucial role in designing life experiences over the centuries.
UXW, just as any other aspect of UX, has gained such valuable ground in the past few years and still has so much to offer. So if you’ve come this far, first of all, thank you, and second of all, I guarantee you that if you take a closer look, you will surely be blown away by its learnings.