Powerful-but-minimalist copy is fundamental to a great user experience. It’s what gives life to a product and ensures that the process of interacting with a digital product is not confusing or frustrating. While visuals still drive that experience, the words also need to be on point, not an afterthought. (Source:Stephanie Van Ness)
This is why today UX just like traditional publishing has dedicated copywriters also known as UX Writers. They focus of designing the words which go into each component of the website/app. This includes the copy which goes into headlines, paragraphs, buttons, menus, forms, error messages, security notes, terms and conditions, as well as instructions and documentation.
To learn the impact a UX writer can have on a project we highly recommend reading these articles by John Saito, a UX Writer at DropBox.
No. Since the field is still in it's infancy there are not many UX writers out there with many companies expecting their in-house UX designers to wear this hat as well (at least for the time-being).
Therefore currently a UX writer either works with multiple teams on multiple projects at the same time or the UX designer wears the hat of the UX writer themselves.
These articles give a good take on how the UX writer fits into today's UX design teams.
A UX writer typically joins the UX process in the following scenarios:
Since the field is in it's infancy, many companies have only recently hired UX writers. Therefore the initial projects, UX writers tend to work on tend to be fixing copy in already existing shipped products. It is during this time, that they also do a copy audit and begin to formulate guidelines which they may use in future projects.
The ideal way, this happens on newer projects once the writing guidelines have been or about to be set in place.
UX writers tend to work closely with the Information Architects, Content Strategists, and UI designers once the ideation stage begins. They focus from how the user journey will unfold right down to how the content will be structured and end with writing the micro-copy for each component. Thus ensuring, the tone and personality remain consistent and follow the writing guidelines set by them.
When Writing Guidelines are required
This is especially common in large organizations in which there are multiple teams. This task tends to happen in conjunction to fixing the old copy as the UX writers begin to identify common mistakes and are forming the theme and personality for the company's copy.
Today UX writers directly contribute to design systems with notes on how to write copy for each component. These guidelines may also extend to the company blogs and social media posts. They not only cover macro details such as tone & voice but also use cases, examples, and do's and don'ts.
You can explore the work of awesome UX writers in this article below.
If you are new to UX Writing or looking to amp up your UX Writing skills we recommend that you sign up for this fantastic newsletter by Daily UX Writing.
You will get a UX writing prompt in your inbox every weekday for 14 days—and a final full-length content challenge on day 15. These are actual prompts from the largest product organizations in the world. No spam. Just practice. Free forever. Signup now.
Pro Tip: Join their awesome Facebook group where you can post your solutions, get feedback, and connect with other UX Writers.
In this FREE industry-leading course, you’ll learn about UX writing processes, testing, research, and best practices. Plus, they will show you the tools UX writers can't live without, the blogs they follow, the podcasts they listen to, give you killer microcopy examples from top companies, and so much more.
Now that you have an understanding of what UX writing is you are ready to explore the UX writing books, articles, and software we have curated together to help you write better copy.