UX writing refers to writing for digital products (e.g. websites, applications) to enhance user experience. It aims to make the copy clear and concise so that it assists the users in achieving their goals. UX writing means crafting text and messages such as headlines, instructions, error messages, and any other text a user comes across while using the product.
As design should be intuitive and understandable for the users, so should UX writing. A well-written text can make all the difference in the product. It helps users understand all the features and functions of the product, enhancing user experience and increasing user engagement. Because of that, it can also reduce user frustration – even if a user encounters an error, a good piece of UX writing can explain what went wrong and how to solve it. Using clear and concise language can also boost digital product accessibility for users with various levels of literacy and those who speak English as a second language.
Finally, UX writing can also strengthen the brand's voice. Keeping the content of your digital product in line with the brand's tone of voice can make it more memorable and engaging.
UX writing is often underestimated, leading to confusing texts that don't correspond with design. Effective UX writing should be simple and straightforward. Any industry jargon, complex words or phrases, and convoluted sentences don't have a place in UX writing, as the users may simply not understand what they need to do. You should also always consider the context within which a text appears. An error message, messaging during the checkout process, or the content on the landing page should differ since they have different goals. And remember that consistency is the key: the content presented to the user within your digital product should be written in your brand's tone of voice. Consistency will allow you to provide the users with a coherent user experience across all communication channels.
There are also certain things to avoid. For example, you shouldn't use negative language or imply blame in an error message. This may leave the user feeling it's their fault for not understanding what was said. It may lead to negative feelings that they may later associate with the product and the brand. It's better to instruct users on resolving the issue without pointing out who's to blame and avoid blaming anybody altogether. You also shouldn't put too much copy; design and content should work together. Design should be intuitive, and UX writing should be short and precise. If there's too much text, the users can feel overwhelmed and, consequently, not read everything and miss out on important information.
Lastly, if your product is meant to reach audiences in different countries, you shouldn't forget about localisation. You should account for cultural differences and ensure your copy matches each market.
Good UX writing is a secret weapon to improving a digital product's user experience. It makes the product more accessible, understandable, on-brand, and user-friendly. It's an essential part of the design – UX and UI designers should work hand in hand with UX writers to ensure that the final product provides a seamless user experience.