An intelligent combination of words and design is what guarantees superior usability and a pleasant user experience.

UI/UX design has evolved in recent years and played a significant role in many large companies worldwide. They all want to create beautiful websites for maximum usability. But there is one catch: visitors don’t come to the site for design- they come for information. In other words, all these color and psychology-based design hack only work in conjunction with the text.

Do you want to learn more about how to create high-quality UX writing for your web resource? Then, this article is worth reading for you.

What is UX writing?

UX text is all text that a user encounters when navigating a site/application/program. These texts include:

  • small labels;
  • CTA buttons;
  • icons;
  • slogans;
  • error messages;
  • push notifications;
  • tips;
  • guides, etc.

UX texts aim to help the user reach their goal and guide, warn, or encourage them along the way. “Hurrah! You’ve reached your workout goal ”on the Apple Watch – that’s the example of how UX writing works.

UX writing example on Apple Watch

example of good UX writing

UX text is part of both design and user experience. Therefore, it needs to be:

  • Comprehensible – straightforward and easy to read;
  • Short – without further words and within the boundaries of their field;
  • Useful – informative and answering the user’s question;
  • Unified – with the same terminology and style throughout the interface.

The human brain processes image 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Moreover, it captures data in the form of images, even when looking at words. This is why some designers strive to turn all user interfaces into graphics.

Large companies such as Facebook and Airbnb have moved towards simple and clear text in the interfaces: they’ve reviewed their texts and made them help users get what they want.

Twitter, with a 140-character limit, was the first to help users write concisely. It was a turning point. People were no longer able to use too many letters and learned to express ideas in a few words – thus getting used to short messages.

this is how Twitter implement UX writing

example of a good UX writing according to Twitter

What does a UX writer do?

A UX writer creates the text needed to support the user in interacting with or using a product. The same person in a company often writes marketing and UX text, so the terms are used interchangeably. But UX writing is not copywriting.

A copywriter needs to develop an idea and wrap it in words that will hook the target audience. The job of a UX writer is to make it easier for users to interact with a product.

UX writing supports the product and helps you get the most out of the interface. In contrast, copywriting is part of advertising and marketing- its task is to attract potential customers or retain existing ones.

what does UX writer do

what is a UX writer doing

UX writing and copywriting have different goals, which means authors need to have different skill sets. The UX writer has less space and less lettering but is involved in the web or app design from the start.

UX writers work in conjunction with UX designers to understand the target audience’s needs and pain points. To write valuable and coherent microscopy, they need to think like designers and understand user interfaces’ dynamics and structure.

To understand people’s behavior subtly, it’s also helpful for a UX writer to observe people and listen to them. This will push them to the desired action with the correct words in the product.

Why is UX writing important?

The importance of UX writing can be seen in the following two examples:

  1. Google UX Writing Lead Maggie Stanfil talked about a new front-end writing approach that has improved their company’s performance. Her team found that when they were looking for a place to live, the “Book a room” button seemed to oblige something. So they decided to change it to Check Available Options. It turned out that this was precisely what users were missing while browsing the hotel since they are still considering options and want to know for what dates the accommodation is available and how much it will cost.
  2. A 404 error is a bad experience that can happen to a user on almost any site. How can you turn even the worst outcome into an advantage? The Dribbble platform collects a 404 error from monochromatic shots. It allows you to rotate the palette, distracting the user with a bright, interactive picture and furthering them to view creative people’s work.
good UX writing example of an error

error 404 Dribbble example

No matter how well you write the text, it will be nothing without quality UX design. So be sure to read our article on Why UX design is so important and see for yourself.

UX writing tips. How to make it efficient.

So what’s the key to quality UX writing? We’ve put together some tips for making your UX copy more effective and powerful. As UX text is a part of the interface, it must be correctly integrated into it and efficiently read by the user. For this, you need:

1) Introduce already accurate text at the first development stages

Designers often use universal Lorem Ipsum text while working with the interface. And usually, it has nothing to do with the actual text. The accurate text may not lie at the output, and the web design will have to be redone or the text rewritten.

To avoid double work, a writer needs to participate in the user experience design from the very beginning.

2) Structure your text

You should structure the text so that the user skims through it and grasps the meaning. This applies to headings, subheadings, and body text which should be of different sizes and blend with the picture on the screen.

This is what the product information looks like in the ASOS app. This is an excellent example as the text is structured and humorous.

make a UX writing structured

structure your UX writing text

3) Catch attention with numbers and marks

If there is a number in the text, the main thing is to write it in numbers, not words. This saves space and grabs attention.

In the text, the reader, first of all, pays attention to numbers because the brain perceives them as serious information. You can emphasize them and put them in a separate field – but it is essential not to overdo it.

Significant semantic points in the text can be highlighted in bold and with a marker. An example of the correct accent is from Booking. Essential numbers are written in numerics, and essential text is highlighted on the personal profile page:

booking’s attention to numbers and marks in UX writing

UX writing example by Booking

But it’s important to remember: the more of this “important” there is, the less attention will be given to each fragment.

4) Write in the present tense

In advertising and informational texts, copywriters use specific dates so that the client perceives the information. In UX text, it is better to write today/tomorrow/yesterday because the user interacts with the product here and now, and the date will only confuse him.

5) Keep track of the register

Use one style for a set of headings and other sentences.

There are three options:

  • all text is printed in caps;
  • each new word with a capital letter (relevant for readers in Latin letters);
  • all letters are lowercase, except for the first letter in a sentence, names, and titles.

The main thing is to choose one of them and stick it on the whole web page and all the application windows.

keep track of the register making UX writing

UX writing text register

A checklist of good UX writing

SEAMLESS

The text should guide the user through the interface unobtrusively and imperceptibly. Just as editing in a movie creates a smooth, coherent picture, so good UX writing doesn’t make you waste time reading and understanding.

STEREOTYPE

It’s essential to integrate your tone of voice into the user’s familiar picture of the world. To do this, use patterns of perception – this is useful here.

Suitable interfaces are built on standard visual structures to don’t have to think about what to do. The same goes for UX writing. There are universal trigger words that people immediately read and feel “at home.”

CARE

Don’t let the user get upset about an incorrectly entered password or a non-existent page. Instead, offer a solution and play the situation with a joke.

SIMPLICITY

It is better to replace beautiful words with basic and precise ones. To test yourself, consider whether a six-year-old will understand the text.

checklist of good UX writing

UX writing checklist

Summing up

A UX writer makes a designer’s job easier and helps create a better product. A UX writer doesn’t just write texts; he or she improves the interface and helps the user.

UX writing emerged as a discipline in its own right in response to changes in the use of digital products. Situated somewhere on the border between traditional copywriting and UX design, UX writing has become one of the foundational stages of product development. Unlike creative copywriting, it aims to work with users who have already tried the product and want to work with it. Your main task is to provide maximum comfort working with the interface to meet people’s expectations.

Like no one else, our company knows how important it’s to support a high-quality web design or an app product with effective UX writing. Therefore, we will be happy to help you with writing correctly and structured UX text. Convince yourself of our professionalism, look at our project at Dribbble and Behance, and glance at the services that we can provide.