UX Design Services – How UX writing improves the experience of your product
Table of Contents
What is UX writing?
The job of a UX writer is to create the text that leads users through your digital product, or in other words – writing microcopy. Good microcopy is an integral part of good UX design. It presents the signposts that help users move through an app and finish the task they need to do, effortlessly, and without obstacles.
Microcopy is all the text in the user interface that helps users do something. For example:
Why do you need a writer on your UX team?
Text in your digital product should not be an afterthought. Explained from the side of psychology, people tend to treat machines like living beings and create a connection when they can feel like they’re having ‘’a conversation’’ with their device as if it was a real person. This happens because when someone or something addresses us using language, our brain immediately responds to the other party as a human.
The first texts in computer interfaces were created by developers who did not necessarily think in terms of psycholinguistics when they were squeezing words into their interfaces. They didn’t need to think about their audience because that audience was other developers. Today, your audience can be anyone in the world, so you need to take a far more serious approach to the text in your digital product if you want to connect with them.
Consider adding a UX writing to your projects as it is an essential part of the modern UX design. The biggest players in the industry Google, Airbnb, Facebook, Booking, caught on early and created teams of writers working just on their microcopy.
404 page on the Pixar’s website
The impact of good UX writing on a digital product
The wrong choice of words in your digital product can cause several problems for users. Because of the wrong message they can get stuck not knowing what they are supposed to do next. A wrong CTA button can make them apprehensive to take the next step if they feel it’s too much of a commitment. Worst case scenario, if they are led to frustrating situations like these, they will simply leave.
Google’s UX writing team knows this well, and here’s an example they shared from experience. In 2017 the writers working on Google Booking changed the text on a CTA button ‘Book a Room’ to ‘Check Availability’. The result was instant, and the engagement was raised by 17%. It turned out that the first label made users feel like they were making a greater commitment, while the second one felt like they had the option to change their mind. Example:
Why UX writing needs to be part of the UX process from start
Ideally, have a writer as a part of your product team and make them involved in the UX process from the very beginning. The writer needs the same information that the UX/UI team needs, and you’ll save time when you have everyone on board from the start of the project.
UX writing gives your product a voice and makes the right connection with the user. That is, in the end, the goal of the whole team – to focus on the users and create a product they want because it satisfies their needs and is easy to use.
Basic info you should provide for effective UX copy
• Describe your brand or provide a brand book. (If you have a well-defined brand, it will pretty much contain the answers to all the other questions, which is a big time-saver.)
• Who is your target audience? (Give as much detail as possible.)
• What is the tone and voice we should use? (Formal/friendly, technical language, slang, etc.)
• Are there any rules or predefined terms you want us to use?
• What is the language of the app/website?
As much as you might think that text in your digital product is a tiny thing easy to get done, having it ignored and downplayed during the design process can have a colossal impact.
Even to write just a few sentences or just one screen of your app, the writer needs to know the project, use the right language, know the brand, audience, etc. Working on a text without context will most often lead to many corrections later, and thus lost time.
When writers have too much fun with popups
If a writer just jumps in the project, it will also take time for designers or developers to explain all these things to the writer if they want to get the right copy. They will need to explain the whole project just to give the right context for one screen or a message.
If the writer creates the copy without context, there’s a good chance it won’t follow your brand or your idea. It might miss the tone you wanted, or the writer might not be familiar with the terms and type of language that was used before.
All this can take up additional time for corrections or consultations for both writers and the rest of the team. Worse of all, the possible inconsistencies in the communication can completely confuse your users and make them simply leave the app or website.
Part of the UX process
Being a part of the UX process, UX writing goes through all the stages of the process – from research to testing. The writers will need to do some research of their own to get to know your project and get familiar with what your audience and competition are doing in terms of language. To make sure everything works well, some testing will be needed, and some tweaks and improvements will lead to better UX and better results for the product.
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As you can see, just a few simple words can have a significant impact on your business. The job of UX writer is to make sure every step of the user flow is focused on the user’s needs.
Each product is unique. You should give it a personality – create your own brand and make sure it communicates effectively with the audience. Good copy as a part of the quality UX will ensure this, so make sure you hire a professional team that understands all the nuances of UX.
*Written by Marija Jamandilovski (UX and content writer)