UX writing can make the difference between visitors to your website opening up their wallets and giving your their credit card numbers and visitors sprinting away quicker than Usain Bolt in a 100-meter sprint.
So what qualities should you look for in a UX writer?
First, let’s take a deeper look at what is UX writing?
What actually is UX writing?
UX writing is the art of honing and crafting text that appears in the interface of digital platforms. Some of these platforms include websites, apps, mobile phones, etc. Whilst UX writing might appear to be very similar to traditional copywriting, there is a big difference.
UX writing differs greatly from traditional copywriting because the main aim of UX writing is to guide users through the interface of digital platforms in a clear and concise manner. A key skill that UX writers need to come equipped with is the ability to communicate messages in a simple and persuasive manner. Every line that a UX writer creates must have an end purpose and must be able to guide users through a digital platform.
Why has UX writing become so important?
The reason why UX writing has become so important is because as apps and websites get increasingly more complex this complexity needs to be augmented by clear UX writing that helps guide users in their digital experience. A UX writer should ensure that users are on the receiving of the most natural and fluid experience possible.
Whilst websites may be becoming more complex this complexity needs to be counteracted by simple and easy to understand UX writing. Over this last number of years digital marketers and businesses have started to realise that UX writing is as vital to a website as any web designer or programmer.
At the end of the day, there is not much point in having a slick looking website that has atrocious writing that nobody understands. This will lead to your website losing leads and conversions, and ultimately, will result in you being hit in your pocket.
So what does a UX writer actually do?
UX writers craft copy throughout the digital product, this includes text on buttons, error messages, scroll down menus, and loads more. This text is usually referred to as microcopy. In one sense, UX writers are tasked with delivering the message of a product from the inside out.
In order to do this effectively, UX writers must have excellent research skills as this will allow them to understand potential users need and interests. Whilst traditionally, new products would come with a manual in the modern digital age todays manuals are written right into the website or the app itself. This makes it the UX writers job to guide the user through their digital experience in as seamless a manner as possible.
Is there anything else a UX writer does?
Its important to take note that UX writers don’t focus all of their energies in creating microcopy. UX writers also help to create the brand voice and product voice which ensures that users can understand the message that the brand is trying to get across. Another important component of a UX writers job is to oversee all of the junior writers and digital marketers to ensure that their messages are on point with the brand. One of the ways that UX writers can ensure that everyone in the company is on the same page when it comes to branding is to create a content style sheet which can be shared throughout the company.
One of the principal goals that any UX writer will try to accomplish is clarity of message. A UX writer will want his message to be clear, crisp and concise. In many ways, in the world of product design, hiring your first UX writer is like using your first mobile phone, you never had an idea how much you needed one until you started using it. Once you hire a UX writer, like when you used your first mobile phone, there will be no turning back.
The role of UX writers in the modern world
Many people are surprised that a job like a UX writer exists and in one sense this surprise is understandable because many people believe that the a content writer or copywriter can create every piece of content in the book. Not so. A UX writer will come equipped with a unique set of skills that will have the ability to take your company to the next level.
Another thing that companys need to take into the equation is that UX writing is an emerging discipline that still hasn’t reached its zenith when it comes to what it actually means to be a UX writer. The skills that are required are constantly evolving and in the coming years you can expect the discipline of UX writing to grow exponentially.
But in spite of UX writing being an emerging discipline many of the big companies out there, such as Google, Facebook, Booking, Wix, etc are all utilising the services of a UX writer. It goes without saying that these companies are thriving and if you don’t take a leaf out of their books, you could well be falling behind the game.
For example, Booking.com has a UX writer for every 5 or 6 web designers they have on their team. Booking.com is thriving because of this strategy, whereas some other companies are struggling because they’re not investing enough in a proper UX writing strategy. The simple fact is, UX writers enhance products and the overall digital experience.
A UX writer must be a team player
A vital issue that you must factor into the equation when hiring any potential UX writer is whether they’re a team player or not. If you hire a UX writer they will be continually working as part of a larger team, and so, they must demonstrate that they have a mindset that can thrive and flourish amidst a team group. A UX writer must not only have great writing skills they must also value collaboration over ego.
Getting a UX writer to join your business is a vital part of any modern digital marketing strategy. If want your products to be understood you should hire a UX writer. If you don’t use the skills of a UX writer you are not only missing a huge trick, you are setting your website or app up for failure.