User Experience (UX) Writing: A Practical Guide

User Experience (UX) Writing: A Practical Guide

Jul 15, 2024

User Experience (UX) Writing: A Practical Guide

Ever been asked what the most important part of a website is? You might think of flashy graphics, engaging videos, sleek designs, or fancy fonts. But guess what? The real game-changer is the copy on your site, landing pages, mobile apps, or digital products. Yup, words matter that much!

Believe it or not, some of the highest-engaging websites aren’t the prettiest—they hook you with well-crafted words that speak directly to their audience. This guide dives into the art and science of UX writing, complete with practical examples and best practices you can apply to your projects. Ready to level up your copywriting game? Let’s go!

Why UX Writing Matters

Think about it: online communication is crucial. From headlines to tiny bits of text, every word should guide the user smoothly through their journey. UX writing, as defined by Kristina Bjoran, a Senior UX Designer at ForumOne, is all about crafting copy for user-facing touchpoints. Nail your UX writing, and you'll enhance every step of your customer’s experience.

Bad UX writing can create unnecessary hurdles, frustrating users and making your digital products less accessible. On the flip side, good UX writing makes things smooth and easy, addressing concerns about digital accessibility and reaching a broader audience.

UX Writing vs. Copywriting

People often mix up UX writing with traditional copywriting, technical writing, or content strategy, but there are key differences. While copywriting focuses on sales, UX writing breathes life into digital experiences and products, making them accessible and user-friendly.

UX writing involves close collaboration with designers to create a seamless ecosystem, ensuring every part of the user journey is valuable and easy to navigate. Though there are overlaps, UX writing is more about content design.

Want more tips on copywriting? Check out our podcast episode on the art of copywriting for insights on improving your consumer communications.

What’s the Goal of UX Writing?

Good UX writing helps users:

  • Know where they are on a webpage

  • Understand the information presented

  • Feel confident about what to do next

Using the wrong words without proper research can ruin the user experience. Bad info confuses users and discourages them from moving forward. Even the best design can’t save a product if the content is unclear. Overloading a page with content can also lead to cognitive overload, causing users to leave.

Understanding Your Visitors

Before you start designing or writing, you need to understand your users. Ask yourself:

  • What do they know?

  • What do they want?

  • What are their pain points?

  • What device are they using?

  • How did they get here?

  • What can they do next?

Once you have a clear picture of your user, think about their core tasks at each stage of the journey. For instance, on an eCommerce product page, ask: “What does my customer want to do here, and how can I help them?”

Example

Imagine you’re launching a new product, and your research shows potential customers are wary and unsure about your brand. Your challenge is to build trust through your content. If you're an eco clothing brand, you could use a pop-up message like this:

“We exist to create timeless and long-lasting attire that’s friendly to the planet. We invest 15% of our profits into reforestation projects. We are GreenWear, and we want you to join us. Enjoy 10% off your first order.”

This kind of message builds trust and encourages action through positive friction.

Tip: Download our presentation on How to Write for Online Audiences for a handy visual reference.

Best Practices for UX Writing

Now, let’s dive into some essential best practices to ensure your UX writing is always on point.

Make Your Content Scannable and Readable

People scan, they don’t read. Use headings, sub-headings, bullets, and short paragraphs to make your content easy to scan. The ‘F pattern’ of reading shows the importance of content hierarchy.

Remove Illegible Content

Don’t rely solely on images or icons to convey your message. Some devices struggle with heavy images. Use strong color contrasts and clear text to ensure your content is readable. Avoid ambiguous options like “done” or “settings”—be specific.

Keep Your Audience in Mind

Use terminology that makes sense for your audience. Avoid jargon that could confuse them. Write descriptions that are user-friendly, not just SEO-friendly.

Always Think Before You Write

Be descriptive with your links. Instead of “Learn More,” try something like “Be the first to know about this.” This keeps users engaged and informed.

Avoid Shortcuts

While brevity is important, don’t skimp on details that could confuse users. Aim for a balance between concise and informative.

Push the Right Buttons

Effective CTAs are crucial. Do your homework on your customers and create buttons that encourage them to take the next step.

Improve Forms for Better Conversions

Clear explanations and instructional text guide users through forms smoothly. This increases the chances of conversions.

Remove Concerns and Always Explain

Reassure users by providing clear explanations and addressing potential concerns. This builds trust and confidence.

Don’t Leave Copy Up to the Developers

System error messages should be user-friendly. Instead of “System error (code #2234): An authentication error has occurred,” try “Oops, you typed the wrong password. Please try again.”

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this guide has given you a solid understanding of the importance of UX writing. By following these best practices and tips, you can create content that enhances the user experience and boosts engagement. Now, go out there and start writing content that helps your users navigate and enjoy your site with confidence!

Ready to bring your creative visions to life? Let's collaborate! Get in touch today to discuss your project and explore how we can turn your ideas into reality. Contact us now to get started!

Ready to 10X Your Investment?

Not sure how we can help? Let's talk and we'll understand your situation and identify an opportunity to help you grow!

Get in touch, and let's create the future together!

Schedule a free 30 min needs analysis and problem identification call worth 1000$

Or help us get in touch with you!

Copyright by MAKREATE IT Services Co LLC 2024

Ready to 10X Your Investment?

Not sure how we can help? Let's talk and we'll understand your situation and identify an opportunity to help you grow!

Get in touch, and let's create the future together!

Schedule a free 30 min needs analysis and problem identification call worth 1000$

Or help us get in touch with you!

Copyright by MAKREATE IT Services Co LLC 2024